Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Investment with Eternal Value

“No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another”
Author Unknown.

Two weeks ago, I shared some things we can do to keep hope alive whilst “In the Waiting Room.” In today’s post I want to expand more on investing in the lives of others, this is applicable to everyone and not only those in the waiting room. Investing in lives is making deposits of our resources—time, energy and sometimes finances—into the lives of others. Not as to receive a high return here but to add value of eternal significance to their lives.
God has deposited in us resources which, as faithful stewards, we are expected to use to accomplish God’s purposes. We have been called to be channels and vessels for God’s use. The Lord said to Abram, “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others” (Gen 12:2). In blessing Abram, God desired for him to be a dispenser of good and a conduit of His blessings to others.
As God truly blessed Abraham so that he could be a blessing to others so also has He blessed each of us His children to be a blessing. God chooses to use people who are available to Him,  and He seeks those He can trust with resources so that they can accomplish His purposes. We, like Abraham, are to be conduits of God’s blessings and not dams or reservoirs. His blessings should flow through us to touch the lives of people around us and not just stay with us to benefit us alone.
The Bible is replete with many examples of those who went out of their way to invest in the lives of others with the resources available to them, and some did so in difficult and austere times. The widow who willing made a cake of bread for Elijah with the little flour and oil she had left, and there was food for her, her son and Elijah everyday. The Philippians provided aid again and again to meet Paul’s need and he remarked that it was credited into their account as fruits which will abound.
As a believer in Christ, you are an ambassador for Him, His representative every where you are irrespective of what you may be going through. You represent Him to others. Jesus being anointed went about doing good, so also you must make deposits of good in the lives of others.
Do I make life miserable for others or make life worth living for them?
How can we invest in the lives of others?
It does not cost anything to give a smile to everyone you come in contact with. Smiling when your circumstances dictate otherwise radiates your confidence in God and His glory to those around you.
Greeting – a simple hello goes a long way
My husband went jogging one evening and on his way back he passed an old French lady, he paused, said, “Bonjour” and went on his way. The old woman called him back, thanked him and told him he was the first person to speak to her that day! There are a lot of lonely people around; your greeting can make a lot of difference.
Doing good things for others
You can seek opportunities to do something that will impact someone’s life for good—deliberately sowing seeds of goodness into the life of someone brought into your life for that purpose.
Showing compassion
Take time to be attentive to the needs of others and to be aware of their struggles or suffering. Let this drive you to do something to meet them at their point of need and to pray for them.
Forgiving others
According to Joyce Meyer, you are doing yourself a favor when you forgive others.
Learning to serve people
We can intentionally look for those who have needs we can help to support. I have been blessed by many friends who took time to cook meals for my family and I when most needed.
Offer listening ears
Sometimes people just want someone who will listen to them, someone to whom they can pour out their heart and share their struggles. A problem shared is half solved. This requires a willingness to be attentive and to be a good listener.
Words of encouragement:
“Everyone deserves someone who will make them look forward to tomorrow” – this is a quote by an unknown author. This is what an encourager does, he/she gives others reasons not to give up but to hold on to God Who makes all things beautiful in His own time. You can be the person whose words will lighten up someone’s face and give them a reason to go on.

Our acts of kindness must be motivated by God's love. If they proceed only from us, then they will leave our imprint on the lives of others. But when they have their source in God, from our desire to do the will of God – they will engrave God’s image on the hearts of the recipients. It should not be about us, it should be about putting the glory of God on display. Let your light so shine among men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in Heaven (Matt. 5:16).
Let us cultivate gentleness, kindness and love which comes from God and deposit these into the lives of people God brings into our lives. When we invest in the lives of others, we make deposits in their lives that will bring good harvest of eternal value. It also takes our eyes off the clock while in the waiting room. Investing in the lives of people can be sacrificial and we need the help of the Holy Spirit to do so.
When we go out of our way to minister to other people’s needs and to be the bearer of the answer to someone’s prayer, we prepare the way for our own breakthrough. Go beyond yourself and extend yourself to reach out to others. Seek to bring comfort, to bless and minister to others.
I encourage you to take your eyes off the storm raging around you and look out for opportunities to be a conduit of God’s blessing.
Will you be available and willing to be an encourager to someone today, this week and beyond?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Your Tears are Stored Up

Sometimes we cry for joy. Sometimes we cry in sorrow.
Sometimes in sweet communion with God and deep appreciation of His immense love for me, singing in adoration and worship, I am overwhelmed, my voice breaks, tears begin to flow and I am unable to hold back.
I recall the times when distressed and in pain, my eyes overflowed with tears, streaming down the sides of my face until they fell in drops off my jaw line and pooled on my chest. Those times when I have cried, “Oh God, I know You are my Father, just take this cup of affliction away from me.”
And there are times of agonizing prayers when like a child I wept a bucketful at the feet of my God entreating Him on behalf of someone dear to me or for an issue grieving my heart.
Maybe you too have had instances when you have flooded the altar of the Lord with tears, and there are various reasons for which you have cried.
What comfort and what consolation to know that God has collected all our tears in His bottle and He has recorded each one of them in His book (Ps 56:8). God has kept an account of your tossing and has placed your tears in His bottle. They are recorded in His book of remembrance. It is a delightful reminder that God has the exact and intimate knowledge of us to the extent that even our tears matter to Him. Nothing about us, where we are and what we are going through is hidden from Him.

David comforted himself in His distress with the assurance and confidence that God noticed all his grievances and grieves. He trusted God to be considerate of his tears as to store them up. He was saying to God, “Come close to me and behold my tears.”He asked God to keep it always before Him and to be reminded of him. In so doing, he expressed the great tenderness with which God cares for His children.
When his friends scorned and mocked him, Job poured out his tears before God (Job16:20). He turned to God with firm confidence. Pouring out tears before God is like pouring out one’s soul and God takes notice of it. God loves us so much that He is touched by our burdens, our anguish of heart and feeling of infirmities.
God hears your prayers. He sees of your tears. God remembers the affliction, grieves and distresses of His children. And we have a High Priest in Christ Jesus Who is touched by our feeling of infirmity. He sympathizes with our weaknesses.
We have these great promises for every state we may find ourselves when we turn to God with hope and confidence. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy (Ps126:15). Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5b). No matter how long and dark the night maybe, it will always turn to morning. The dawn of a new day brings the hope of a new beginning.
Your tears are not forgotten, and they have not fallen to the ground unnoticed. God has taken account of them. He will act on your behalf. Your tears are stored up before Him. This is an expression of the God’s tender loving kindness for you, which in turn must evoke an affirmation of unwavering confidence in God, and an outburst of heartfelt praise.
Let your heart be lifted up, you have a loving Father in Heaven; He sees each one of your tears as they fall.

He Knows My Name by Maranatha Singers

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In the Waiting Room

I am writing to one person today.
To one person who is in the waiting room – that place where you  stay and hope for a favorable change in your situation or in the situation of a loved one.
To one person waiting – day and night.
To someone in an extended period of waiting — you have been waiting and waiting a long time. You can only see the end by faith and not by sight.
To one person for whom things appear to be contrary – you have prayed and prayed some more.

The waiting room—the place where you learn to hold on to the Word of God as if you next breath depends on it—the place where the Word becomes to you a life line.
Waiting in any form can be tough but it is essential.
What are you waiting for – a change, a breakthrough, an answer to prayer or a miracle?
Whatever it is, you can rejoice in the waiting room because God know you are there.
God takes note. He hears your deep, silent and unspoken cry. He notices you.
I simply love God. He works in amazing ways to assure you that He knows you are in the waiting room. Sometimes He sends His servants to confirm His Word just for you to know that He takes note of all that concerns you. He is God of knowledge. He knows where you are.
A short while ago, I testified of how God restored my strength and enabled me to do a number of things I had not been able to do for a long while. Barely a week afterwards, I noticed the symptoms return with fury. At first, I ignored it; I told myself I don’t have to accept its presence or message. I chose to focus on the truth, and that is – I am healed and I am delivered from the harassment of the affliction.
In a few more days, it got worse, I was struggling and I was angry but I knew I had to turn my energy to wage warfare against this encroachment on my health. One night, distressed with the choking, head resting on my hands, elbows burrowing into my laps, I sat on my bed and declared, “Thank You God, thank You because I have hope, thank You that I know Your promises concerning me.” I knew that without this assurance holding my heart trusting in the Lord, the cloud of heaviness and despair will envelop me. I asked God for a peaceful night rest, standing on the authority of His word – He gives His beloved sleep. I am His beloved. I am precious in His sight. I slept through the night.
The following morning God confirmed that He has His eyes on me in the waiting room. He sent me a message through His servant – a phone call from a dear Sister who declared to me the Word God placed on her heart concerning me. It was timely and on target. I was overwhelmed. It got to me the way God assured me that He takes notice of me.  He is taking note of every detail of my life – what I am doing in His service, what I am struggling with and what I am going through. Nothing about me is hidden from Him. In a flash, the cloud of despair dissipated and my spirit was elated.
Be assured, dear friend, God takes notice of you in the waiting room. He will confirm His Word to you in mysterious ways. So while you are waiting you can draw on the infinite resources of His grace. You can make your time in the waiting room worthwhile by being busy doing good. You can let the time count for something of eternal value.
Your waiting time is a time to nourish the seed you have planted – with praise, with prayer, and with abundant patience.
 Your waiting room can become the presence room where you wait in the presence of God to comfort and strengthen you, the place where you can experientially declare, “Thou art with me.” It can be a time of refreshing and renewal in His presence.
While Joseph was waiting for his dream to come true, he maintained an exemplary character in the face of temptation, he was an excellent worker in the prison and he was attentive to the needs of others. He used the gifts and talents God blessed him with to meet the need of others. And he was still waiting for his heart desire to be fulfilled.
You too have been blessed with a gift, a talent or a skill which can be used to bless lives around you while you are waiting. There is something in your hands you can release to be used of God to add value to the lives of others. Everyone has something in their hands – no one is empty handed. Give and be assured that God will honor His word.
To you, my dear friend in the waiting room, I write:
Be at rest. Let His peace enfold you.
Be creative, be passionate and be zealous at doing good.
Wait with hope. Wait with expectation.  Wait with patience. Wait trusting in God. Wait doing good.
Though things may be contrary to your dream and desire now, don’t give up, don’t give in, hold on tenaciously to your dream and give it all you have got.
Watch out for God. Be attentive to hear His voice and the confirmation of His everlasting love for you.
When and how will it end?
 I can’t give an answer, but this much I know, it will be a demonstration of the sovereignty of God and a display of His power at work in you. For Joseph, it happened – at that moment, in a flash – the years of waiting were wiped out.
For you too, the end point will bear God’s signature if you wait on God.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” – Ps 27:14

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Today marks the 95th day of 2012. Three months gone already in the year. It is the beginning of April, the beginning of a new quarter and the beginning of a new season – a season of newness and freshness. It is the time when life resurrects from the dead. The earth begins reawakening in earnest brightly announcing that spring is here—brilliant yellow canola set to spring out of fallow grounds, and dry dark twiggy trees already transforming, as if overnight, into luscious greens.
It is the time to celebrate the reason we have hope of life in eternity – the ultimate sacrifice, the precious gift of life and redemption. It is an opportunity for rebirth and a new beginning. Transition, transformation and spring’s gleaming freshness, these are but a few of what April represents.
It is also a checkpoint. A time to review the first three months of the year and determine how far we are on course, or off course, in the journey towards fulfilling our dreams and the goals we set at the beginning of the year.
I recall that elected political leaders often mark their 100th day in office. It is a landmark or a reference point for evaluating how they are doing in fulfilling the promises they made to the electorate during the campaigns.
Checkpoints are places along the road where police stop vehicular traffic to perform inspections and ensure adherence to laws and regulations. It is a place to pause in the course of a journey or a race.
At the beginning of the year, I shared a post – Time to Prepare — which was about setting up the platform from which to launch the pursuit of a dream and setting realistic goals that will take us towards our dreams. The beginning of a new quarter and the month of April therefore affords us the opportunity to pause and check where we are in the pursuit of our dreams and goals.
For the purpose of this discussion, checkpoint is the time to subject your activities to review – inspect what you are doing – to ensure that they are taking you towards achieving your dreams and goals in a timely fashion and that you are maintaining your focus.
The benefits of this self-regulated checkpoint include:
·         An opportunity to appreciate our goals – pay attention to how attractive the goals and dreams are – and why they are important to us.
·         A focus on the path leading us towards achieving our goals – are we on the right path or is the chosen path taking us closer to living our dreams?
·         A time to create, if you have not done this already, a graphic image of you achieving your goal—envisioning the endpoint—where you are actually living your dream. Keeping the vision vividly in view will help you to stay on track and minimize distractions. This will also help you to avoid actions that may tempt you to sell out for immediate gratification at the expense of the long-term pleasure which comes with the fulfillment of your dreams and goals.
·         You are able to identify potential potholes or landmines that could sabotage the possibility of reaching the desired goals.
These checkpoints will help you to know if what you are doing is working well and taking you in the direction of achieving your goals and living your dreams.
My dream is to be a prolific writer - encouraging and inspiring hope. I also want to finish writing the book – Empowered for Victory and see it printed by mid-year. I did my checkpoint inspection last weekend and noted that though I have made progress in some areas, but I was behind in some important ones.
I found that I was spending more time reading about how to write than I was writing. I was not where I wanted to be with the book. Yes, I am learning a lot about the craft but something is definitely wrong if reading blogs on writing becomes an obstacle to writing. I have to spend more time writing if I want to complete the book and see it published as I have dreamt.
So I reviewed my schedule and what I am writing – the book, and the weekly blog and inspirational email I post on Wednesdays and Fridays respectively. I reorganized my time to focus on writing the book on the other days. To keep me accountable, I made graphic, on a spreadsheet posted where I can easily view it, the action I take each day towards completing the book - number of words written, stories edited and revised and poems completed.
What checkpoints have you set up to help you review your goals? Are the activities you are currently engaged in going to help to deliver your desired outcome? Can you relate what you are doing and what you are planning to do to the bigger picture – your dream? Reviewing what you have done so far will help you take note of the transformation which has taken place and how this contribute to the overall goal.
Don’t lose sight of your dream. Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions and sacrifice temporary pleasure to stay focused and on track – denying ourselves some pleasures now for the greater pleasure of achieving our goals and seeing our dreams come true.
This calls for self-discipline, determination, patience and perseverance, and a willingness to trust God and follow His instruction. being assured that the path He is leading us is the best path for us even if it looks less glamorous.
After each checkpoint, I encourage you to keep your long-term goal in mind and go confidently in the direction of your dream.
 Many will celebrate Easter – the greatest celebration of Christianity – Christ risen from the dead. He rises in our soul everyday if we call on Him to do so. This realization causes new life to spring forth in each of us. It is a season of transition from death to life, of renewal and of reawakening.
It is a checkpoint in the lives of every Christian. Where are we in our walk of faith? Are we living each day with our gaze focused on the hope of rising with Christ when He appears in His glory?
I wish you a time of deep reflection at the checkpoint this Easter.