Sunday, 28 August 2011

Monday Manna on Money

I had buyers regret last week after buying something online. Or rather, as I read an article about the situation in Somalia, God's Spirit whispered to me, "Did you really need to buy that?" Hmm, the concept of need/necessity can be pretty subjective! Would you believe it, I struggled for a day and a half on this issue before returning the item. I could have given some other money to charity and kept my prized item of clothing but then I would just be giving out of my abundance rather than actually sacrificing for someone else. I don't think I've ever had to sacrifice for someone else! So the problem wasn't the money, it was my heart- God knew that at that moment, I cared more about that item of clothing (and how awesome I would feel wearing it) then about the kids in Somalia. God loves us too much to let us live a small, selfish life. I know that if He left me to myself, I would devote all of my time and money to making myself comfortable in this life, trying to have all the fun I can and just pursuing my own interests and goals. But God has much bigger, longer-lasting dreams for us! I guess we need an eternal perspective...

"Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God's children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. It is a defense for the oppressed and a means of help to the sick. But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities [necessities!there's that word again!] of our life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ." -Christ's Object Lessons.

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. Command those who are rich in this present age not to be proud, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." 1 Timothy 6 excerpts...

P.s. How rich are you? Check out your salary compared to everyone else.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Monday Manna on a Tuesday- Faithfulness

"Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines... " Song of Solomon 2:15

"Those who neglect the little things will not be prepared to endure severe tests when they are brought to bear upon them. Remember that character building is not finished til life ends. Every day a good or a bad brick is placed in the structure."- E. White

Likewise, it is faithfulness in the little mundane things of life that can bring us great happiness. Faithfulness not just in doing the duties we have been given but also in showing kindness and compassion to whoever we interact with (particularly family). These little acts of faithfulness, "... help make up the sum of lifes happiness; and the neglect of these little things makes up the sum of lifes bitterness and sorrow."

"We cannot always do great things but we can do small things with great love." Mother Teresa.

"He who is faithful in the little things will be faithful in the big things..." Luke 16:10

Be faithful in all that God has given to you! Time, money, the people in your life, your health, your talents, your soul.

image: illustration by Jean de La Fontaine

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Written on a billboard that I drove past last week...

"The pain of self-discipline is less than the pain of regret."

I admire (and am confounded by) the determination of athletes, who endure pain and deprivation to reach their goal. Cadel Evans once completed a stage of the Tour de France with a broken elbow (or arm or whatever it was). I would not even dream of riding up such ridiculously steep inclines!! 

Paul says: "Everyone who competes in the games is self-disciplined in all things. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." 1 Corinthians 9:25

I'm not so good at self-discipline. However, it doesn't matter if there are certain admirable character traits that we lack (either by nature or because of our past choices) because God gives us a new character as a spiritual gift. When we allow Him to lead us by His Spirit, we receive the fruit of the Spirit also... "love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, humility, self-control and faith." (Galatians 5:22, 23).

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons and daughters of God." Romans 8:14

The gift of the Holy Spirit is a blessing that brings with it all other blessings. 


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

To Forgive

To forgive means:
to let go, 
to pass over, 
to cease to feel resentment, 
to cancel the debt that someone owes you (debt= their wrong towards you).

Jesus said that when we pray, we should ask God to  "...forgive us our wrongdoing the same way that we forgive others when they hurt us or let us down." (paraphrase from the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6).

What would it look like if God forgave me the same way that I forgive others (i.e. begrudgingly)? If you are anything like me (and most of Western society), you struggle to accept responsibility for your own wrongs, let alone forgive others when they have wronged you. It's such a struggle to 'let go' and to resist trying to prove to someone how 'wrong' they are and how 'right' you are!

How can I become more forgiving? "Forgive one another, even as God, through Christ, forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

The answer is to first experience God's forgiveness towards us. Why do we need His forgiveness? When have we wronged Him? Every time we make a bad choice, it hurts our Heavenly Father, just as it hurts us when those we love make destructive choices. And when we hurt someone else, we are primary sinning against God because He is their Creator and Saviour too.

God is much more interested in forgiving us than we are in asking Him for forgiveness. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Gleams that untravelled world...

I found it really hard to find a short blog url that a) I liked and b)wasn't already taken.

Hence my long blog name, 'Gleams that untravelled world..."

It's sort of random but it's taken from Tennyson's Ulysses. Here are some lines I particularly like:

I am a part of all that I have met; 
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' 
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades 
For ever and for ever when I move...

How dull it is to pause, to make an end, 
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! 
As tho' to breathe were life! 

...The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world...

'Ulysses' by Turner, taken from this blog:

Monday, 1 August 2011

The gift of Time


One of my greatest and ongoing struggles is to make the most of the greatest gift we have been given- the gift of time! Here are some thoughts that have challenged me...oh and thanks for taking the time to read this ;)

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.-Gandhi

Lost time is never found again.- Benjamin Franklin

"Therefore be very careful how you live—not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15, 16.

"What is the purpose of a Christian?
Satan makes special efforts to use the pleasures and amusements of this world to distract us from the solemn realities of scenes that are not far off in the future. The pleasures of this world are infatuating but are they worth sacrificing the friendship of Heaven and the peace and joy it affords us? We are not on this earth to please ourselves but to benefit humanity and be a blessing to society." E. White

There's nothing wrong with innocent comforts and pleasures and recreation but if our own own comfort and pleasure is our main purpose in life, then, in God's eyes, we are not really 'alive' (because our days here on earth are so short from God's perspective).. "They who live for pleasure are dead even while they live." 1 Timothy 5:6

How are you using your time?

“LORD, help me to know my end,

 And what is the measure of my days..

Certainly every man at his best state is but a shadow,       
Surely they busy themselves in vain;          
He heaps up riches,         
And does not know who will gather them.          
And now, Lord, what do I wait for?         
My hope is in You."
Psalms 39