Archive for June, 2012

At the start of this year, I shared with you my aims for this year (Welcome to 2012) – not my new year resolutions, but what I aim to achieve this year. Then at the end of each month I’ve given you my monthly update on how I’m doing. So now it’s time for my June update:

  • Eat healthier
    • Much better month again, as back to eating nice healthy foods at work again and drinking loads of water. Huge improvement on last month!
  • Lose some weight
    • Yay! I’ve lost the few pounds I put on last month again, plus a wee bit extra.
  • Spend more time reading my bible
    • A little bit of an improvement in this last month, although could still do so much better.
    • It’s been a tough few weeks for various reasons, so I must admit that I’ve found it difficult to even want to read my bible!
  • Don’t let pain rule my life
    • These last couple of weeks have been some of the worst I’ve had for a while, but I’ve managed to keep going and haven’t allowed pain to rule me.
    • All the same it’s been very difficult even moving in the last couple of weeks, so it really has been very hard to keep going.
  • Get back to playing tennisas stopped playing in 2003 when I first wasn’t well
    • Not managed this yet this last month as life’s just been a bit too tough to bother about tennis
    • Also as my pain levels were so high it really would have been daft to even think about attempting to try to play tennis while in so much pain.
  • Put aside a minimum of 5 minutes each day to spend some quiet-time with God
    • Yes, I’ve managed to spend a minimum of 5 minutes each day in quiet time with God
    • However, on many occasions my quiet time with God has ended up being crying time, which if I’m honest has been more me feeling sorry for myself than me giving it all to God.
  • Get back to playing the piano regularly as it’s been a while
    • Continuing not to make any progress with this one!
  • Go on holiday – we’ve not been away anywhere since 2002
    • Again, no progress on this one yet!
  • Keep on top of the housework (especially the ironing mountain!)
    • I’m afraid I’m failing miserably at this one again.
    • As I’ve said, it’s been a tough few weeks physically and emotionally and that just means I put things like housework on the back burner.
  • More patience and understanding of others
    • I definitely still need to be more patient, although I feel I have made a little progress so far.
    • More prayer for patience is still required!
  • Stop procrastinating
    • Doing ok with this one still.

So that’s my honest answers to how I’m getting on with my aims for 2012 – To summarise my progress to date…it’s continuing to go OK, as in general, I’m still heading in the right direction with most of my aims. However there are still some which I haven’t made any progress with to-date, so there’s still room for improvement in the coming months.

How about you, are you succeeding with your aims for 2012 so far?

Whatever your aims for this year, I pray you may be making progress in your aims for 2012, and that come the end of the year you will have achieved all God had planned for you this year!

In a world where there’s so much misery and despair, has God lost interest in us and stop performing miracles?

Definitely not – In fact the complete opposite is true…

God has never stopped being good, we’ve just stop being grateful.

Let’s take a few minutes today, and every day, to truly appreciate all God does for us, and to give thanks to Him for all He provides.

How many times have you been walking along a path that seems to be long and winding and not really going in the direction you want, so you take a shortcut to try to get to your destination quicker?

How many times having taken that shortcut do you find you way blocked, so you’ve got to retrace your steps and get back to your original path again?

Sounds a bit like life doesn’t it!

Psalm 23:3 (NIV)

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

God has a path set out for us in life, but sometimes we think we know better than God, and try to take a “shortcut” through life. Have you noticed how things never work out when we do that!

Yet again, God prove to us that He knows best and that His way is definitely better, so don’t try to take a shortcut through life, simply trust God and follow the path He has set out for you….the path to glory!

Here’s Bellshill Band of the Salvation Army playing the fabulous piece of music The Path of Glory:

Is life about helping others or about getting one over on someone?

I do wonder sometimes, as there are definitely a lot of folk about who always seems more intent on trying to get one over on someone else, than in actually working together and helping others.

What makes me even sadder about that observation is that some of those people I’m talking about profess to be Christinas…and that makes me mad!

We need to get the message out there that we’re all in this together, and therefore life should be about helping one another, not trying to get one over on everyone else. i.e. Help others rather than trying to beat them.

Can you imagine a world where everyone judged themselves and not each other?

I’ve spoken before about how at times, we are all guilty of judging others based on either what we see or the little bit of their life that we know about. So can you imagine what life would really be like if no-one judged anyone else? It would be wonderful wouldn’t it?

I know that what I’m about to say, may sound simply like words that I’m just saying, rather than reality. However what I’m about to say is in fact the absolute truth, so don’t judge me! I’ve found myself in the last while, more and more aware of all my failings, and more aware of the times when I judge others unfairly or unnecessarily. I have being praying a lot that God will help me not to judge others, and I feel the very fact that I am able to identify these occasions shows God is working in me…I now just need His help to stop myself from actually judging others in the first place!

Even though God knows every little things about us, He still doesn’t judge us. So we must try to do the same. i.e. love everyone, and do not judge them.

I pray today that we will all look inside ourselves and judge ourselves before we even consider judging someone else, as we all have plenty of things in our own lives which we can greatly improve.

In yesterday’s blog post Talker or Listener? I spoke about how some people seems to do nothing but talk all the times, while others tend to keep in the background and just listen to all that’s going on.

Have you ever noticed how those who have a lot to say for themselves and often those who get themselves into trouble more because of what they’ve said? The following quote by Frank Tyger beautifully illustrates this:

Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble

It’s so true, isn’t it? By listening to what others have to say to us, we cannot get ourselves into trouble. We only manage that when we talk about what we’ve heard!

God needs good listeners. people that others can confide in. If you’re more of a talker than a listener, ask God today to help you be a better listener.

When it comes to talking, we all do a lot of it don’t we! Having said that, some of us do far more talking than others. In fact some people who talk a lot don’t actually have very much to say, or is that just my imagination?

Have you noticed how when you’re in a group of people, some people talk all the time, while others stay quiet and just listen to what everyone else has to say, maybe just contributing to the overall conversation on the odd occasion.

So where am I going with this…well I think we all fall into the category of being either a talker or listener. Yes we all talk sometimes and yes, we all listen sometimes, but we are all more likely to do one rather than the other in more circumstances. So which are you, a talker or a listener?

Me, I’m definitely a listener…not that I don’t like talking, because like everyone else I like a good chat sometimes, however those of you who know me well will know I am generally a fairly quiet person, but person who is always willing to listen to and help others whenever I can.

God needs talkers and listeners as He needs people who can spread His message, but He also needs those who are good at listening to others and comforting or helping them. So don’t think just because you’re no good at talking to others about God that He doesn’t need you, because He does. Likewise, don’t think because you’re not great at listening to others, that you’re no good to God, because He needs you too.

We all have particular things/events that make us happy – What makes you happy?

Here’s a few things that make me happy (in no particular order):

  1. Hearing a cat purring
  2. Hearing children laugh
  3. Watching a good comedy
  4. Serving an ace at tennis or hitting a fabulous winning shot
  5. An ice-cold drink on a warm day
  6. A cat rubbing against my legs
  7. Receiving a gift from someone unexpectedly
  8. Waking up at my usual time for work, and then realising it’s not a work day!
  9. The smell of fresh-baked bread
  10. Find clothes from last year that were too tight, now fit perfectly or are even a bit loose

Have any of these things made you smile or think of a similar situation that you were in?

If your answer is Yes, I’ve done my job and made you happy, just by talking about my “happy things”.

Keep thinking happy thoughts!

Talk, talk, talk, talk…

Some people just some to want to talk all the time don’t they? In my experience, those who talk constantly (often about nothing in particular), are the ones who think that those who are least likely to listen to what others have to say to them. Do you agree with that summary?

I also think that those who talk disparagingly about others to you, are likely to do the same to you when with others. Do you know anyone who fits this description? I certainly do!

I don’t know about you, but I find those who constantly talk in a negative way about other people are normally very negative influences to those around them. If you’ve ever spent time in the company of someone like this, how does it make you feel? Personally I find that no matter what sort of mood I’m in when I join that person’s company, I end up feeling annoyed, frustrated and quite low because of all the negativity.

So what can we do? We must try not to associate ourselves with those who talk disparagingly about others or those who are negative influences on those around them. However I appreciate that isn’t always possible as these folk may be work colleagues or even family members!

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do, because there’s always something we can do, and someone who can help us…God! The best thing we can do for anyone and everyone, regardless of the situation or circumstances, is pray for them, and pray that their influence may not bring us down to their level.

 

Ever come across someone who appears to listen to you but later shows they really haven’t listened to a single word you’ve said?

I would guess we all know someone like that! I would also guess that they are not particularly caring people when it comes to others, am I right?

J Clarke once said

One who cares is one who listens.

and that kind of sums up what I was saying doesn’t it.

Of course there is one person who we can all talk to who I guarantee will always listen to every word you say, and will show is love and compassion for you on a daily basis. Do you know who I’m talking about?

GOD!

Don’t ever stop caring about others. Be Christ-like and listen to what others say to you and saw you care about them.