It is quite funny how we can pick to do something and then later find that God had actually purposed for us to learn from that experience. Well, I picked James as I had just finished doing John and wanted something light for the BSF break. How very wrong I was as James turned out to be the very thing I needed to continue with the lessons learnt from the Book of John.
What character traits of God did I see?
- God as sovereign, ordering all my plans and in control of my future.
- God as Judge. Reading James 5, I learnt that the coming of Christ is imminent and that in all my plans I have to remember the eternal plan for mankind’s salvation.
- God as transformer who is able to change me from my fallen self through to the daughter that He would have me become.
What actions/thoughts do I need to stop?
How has the study encouraged me?
- I was encouraged by the fact that by abiding in Christ and remaining in His words and teachings, I will grow. This was brought out through the likening of God’s word to a mirror. (James 1: 22 – 25)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
So be encouraged!!
I generally hate letters written to future whatevers but today being Women’s Day in South Africa and because I just watched an advert of ladies giving advice to a younger self, I thought I would give it a try.
- Stand tall and work on fostering positive self (body) image. There is so much advise to women today about how they ought to look/ weigh/ what they need to do and this piles on the pressure. Filter out all of these and work with your body type, your likes and bring out the best in yourself.
- Work hard at school. Push yourself extremely hard and do not dim your light so any guy around you can feel better about himself. Keep learning and challenging yourself to greater and better heights.
- Surround yourself with female friends that push you to your best and that you can do life with. Female friends rock! FACT. We are not all in competition with each other (female) and do not all like to gossip and bring down a fellow sister. Work on being a good friend.
- What makes you tick and brings out your inner feminine self? Don’t worry it varies from one lady to the next, find what works for you and foster that. If you wanna be like mummy, I love to read and to get my hair done.
- Work on your relationship with God. That’s the most important and constant relationship you will ever have.
Overall, be confident. There is nothing as attractive as a woman who is confident in her skin and who draws out the best in the different people she encounters in her day to day life.
All the best!!
Posted in Heart matters, home, life
Tagged bible god, Body image, confidence, faith, female friendship, God, lessons for my daughters, Letter to younger self, life lessons, motherhood, mothers love
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
Isaiah 43:1-7 (NIV)
I love these verses. They remind me of God’s personal promises to us His children. We are loved and precious to Him. It also reminds me of a very dear friend of mine because she really got me into this verse. I have highlighted and underlined verses that are particularly meaningful to me.
A friend of mine came “out” this week – out, as in of the proverbial closet. Well, he was an acquaintance from Church and he led worship as part of the Praise Team.
- I wasn’t really shocked at his coming out and his statements around it because for the longest time he had been posting very provocative articles on homosexuality and I figured that it maybe because he is currently in Uganda (homophobe capital of the world). On this day he decided to speak plainly and talk about how gay people are out and about and more common than we imagine and thereafter I saw the Christian backlash and response to it all.
- I stand by the Bible (God’s) position of homosexuality – it is a sin and it is outside of God’s plan for mankind. I am unapologetic about this. However, there is a clear distinction between the man (as indeed we are all fallen) and the sin. The latter is abhorrent to a Holy God while the former is beloved to Him.
- In portraying this distinction, it is vital that fellow man portrays love and understanding. Love that stems from the knowledge that before God, we all fall short in many areas and the understanding that to God, sin is sin and no one’s is better or less than another’s. Bearing this in mind will guide your language and approach. Otherwise, we are no different from the Pharisees!
- Personally, I feel for my friend because this is not an easy path he has selected: i) A large part of his past/present life is Church and he has the dilemma of serving a loving God who does not accept his lifestyle and ii) it’s illegal in East Africa – obviously no one has been convicted as successful prosecution requires that the accused be caught in the act.
One of my first (fast) friends from High School was in town this week and despite receiving additional work just before the planned rendezvous, I am glad that we still made time to have dinner and catch up.
- Seeing each other after so long resulted in a general acknowledgment that we have all grown up. She is planning a wedding in June and has a little daughter that turns 5 later this year – about as long as I have been with my person. Besides the fact that this November will be 11 years since we finished high school.
- In reminiscing about high school, we both agreed that if we could go back, we would relax more and do more extra-curricular activities. We did go to one of those schools where success was guaranteed and we should have been equipped instead to know how to better deal with the pressures of success and how to unwind. More importantly, how to fail and get back up. From conversations with some of my other classmates, it’s hit me that it does take us such a while to get there.
- About having the strength and the foresight to leave a job when it stops feeding that inner part of you that ticks and makes you who you are. And not feeling like a failure at the same time when it does not work out. In determining what to do post-high school, few of us really interrogated the options available to us and presently some of us are going through a period of asking whether this is what we want or not. A very important phase that might improperly be read as being radar less and shifty.
- The most significant thing she did say to me – women need to be authentic with each other and in the process know when to give yourself a break. In our different roles: daughters, sisters, partners, colleagues … we must know when to ask for help, when to speak up, when things aren’t working out. If women were more honest with themselves …. Who knows how that sentence might end but I will try and find out.
Have you had any interesting conversations this week.
Posted in Heart matters, madness, marriage
Tagged authenticity, bible god, faith, female's friendship, Heart matters, homosexuality, madness, marriage, Uganda