Archive for the ‘self improvement’ Category

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, and today it’s time for another one. So as usual I’m going to throw some words at you, and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

  1. Breakfast
  2. Relationship
  3. Plant
  4. Box
  5. Slipper
  6. Box
  7. Vinyl
  8. Teapot
  9. Condemn
  10. Graphitewords

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Cereal
  2. Friend
  3. Seed
  4. Delivery
  5. Winter
  6. Tick tock
  7. 78
  8. Yorkshire
  9. Fire
  10. Racket

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

By the way, if you want me to explain any of my answers, just ask!

They tell us that exercising and walking is good for us, and good for our physical health. I’m not going to dispute that advice, I am going to look at another time when we go for a walk…

We can sometimes feel as if God has deserted us, but how about we consider it from His perspective:

Very true isn’t it – God never deserts any of us, but we do desert Him when we think we can deal with life issues ourself, or that we know better than Him.

When will we learn, we should not go for a walk without God!

I spent a bit of time recently thinking about how I’ve got to where I am – Not in a work or career sense, but from a personal perspective.

I’m sure, like everyone else, there have certain individuals who have influenced you, taught you and directed you through your younger days. There will have been those who have encouraged you, looked out for you, become your confidants, and just generally been there for you whenever you’ve needed to talk.

There have been people in my life too you I put into each of those categories. Between them, they are the one who have helped make me the person I am today. However, I hope and pray that it is those who taught about God and the bible from an early age, who have influenced me most. Without their Christian influence on me I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today. Without Christ in my life I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I therefore give thanks to God for all those who have taught me or influenced me along my Christian journey.

Who we are today is a direct result of those we spend time with, and those we trust and believe. My belief and trust is in God. How about you, are you trusting and believing in the right people?

It’s not only physical wounds that can cause great pain – Emotional hurts and wounds can be just as painful, and in some cases, can be longer lasting.

While physical wounds are often visible, the emotional ones are invisible. People walk around everyday with emotional pain that we never see, and therefore are not aware of.

To heal an emotional wound, it sometimes just takes someone to show compassion, An act of kindness towards someone can be the one thing that makes someones day, and help them put to one side, even just for a few minutes, their emotional pain.

So go on, make a kind gesture to someone today, you may just make their day!

Yes, it’s Hogmanay, or new year’s eve, and it’s at this time of year  we look back over the year that is about to end, and also look forward to a brand new year. We look back at the past year of highs and lows, commit them to the past, and move forward into a brand new year, promising to make a new start, making changes in our lives to make a better future for ourselves.

This got me thinking about how this is almost what we do when we accept Christ as our Saviour and friend – We give all our past failures and sins to Him, and as we look forward to a life with Christ, we ask Him to be at the centre of all we do by letting Him not our hearts.

So this year as you look back over your life in 2017, consider whether there have been parts of it that you kept from God. If so, make a commitment to God today to let Him be at the centre of your life from now on. Let’s make 2018 the year we truly give our all to Christ.

In a world where people are scared to reach out and help others in case someone gets the wrong idea; where people don’t trust anyone they don’t know; and  where people don’t trust anyone who doesn’t share the same beliefs or religion as them; I want you to think about whether you would stop and help, or run and ignore in the following situations:

  1. You’re driving along a road in your car. There’s a couple of other cars about and you see only one or pedestrians at most. Then you notice a pedestrian walking along the pavement suddenly collapses to the ground for no apparent reason…What do you do stop and help or run and ignore?
  2. You’re in a busy supermarket at the checkout. There’s a young mother in front of you with a child who seems to be pushing the mother’s patience to it limits. When the checkout assistant tells the mother how much her shopping comes to, she realises she’s £2’s short of the money she needs… Do you offer to pay the £2 for her, or do you pretend you didn’t here the conversation the mother was having with the checkout assistant?
  3. You’re walking through a busy shopping area and come across a young child crying their eyes out, and they seem  to be on their own…Do you approach the child and ask them if they are ok, or if they’ve lost their mum or dad, do you go find an official from one of the shops to come and help, or do you just keep walking sure that the child ‘will be ok’?
  4. A homeless person sitting on a local street asks you if you can spare some money for some food…Do you give them some money, go buy them some food and take it back to them, or just ignore them and keep walking?
  5. You find a £20 note lying in an aisle of a shop…Do you hand it into the customer service desk in the shop, or do you pocket the money hoping no-one saw you?

What were your answers? Were they honest answers?

If you’re answers aren’t what they should be, I hope that next time you find yourself in that situation, you stop and think for a moment, and then make what is ‘the right’ decision.

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood. ~ William Penn

The project I’m responsible for at work just now, involves designing and developing a new website to provide our customers with a simple, and easy to understand way of communicating with us. This includes ensuring that the information/text the customer will be presented with is written in Plain English. i.e. It is written with the reader in mind, using non-technical terms that are clear and concise in meaning.

To give us the best chance of ensuring that what we are developing is written in way our customers will understand, we’ve held several customer forums, and have completed some online training provided by the Plain English Campaign (www.plainenglish.co.uk). For those who have not heard of the Plain English Campaign, here’s an extract from their website explaining their purpose:

Since 1979, we have been campaigning against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information. We have helped many government departments and other official organisations with their documents, reports and publications. We believe that everyone should have access to clear and concise information.

From the customer forums we held, we quickly realised that some of the words/terms we frequently use when we communicate with our customers, are either unclear or meaningless to our customer. This got me thinking about how we as Christians, and Salvationists, communicate God’s message to the people we come into contact with.

Do we use words that others won’t understand?

Do we use abbreviations or jargon that those unfamiliar with the Salvation Army will not know or understand?

I think most of us, if we’re honest, would answer ‘Yes’ to both those questions. But we’re not alone, even Jesus found at times he had to simplify his language so that the disciples understood what he was trying to tell them!

In John 16:25-29, we read:

“I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father.”

His disciples said, “Finally! You’re giving it to us straight, in plain talk—no more figures of speech. Now we know that you know everything—it all comes together in you. You won’t have to put up with our questions anymore. We’re convinced you came from God.”

There are many people all around us: in our church; in our communities; our school; places of employment etc, who all need Christ. So just as Jesus had to speak plainly so the disciples understood and believed He was the Son of God, maybe we too need to review how we communicate God’s message to others, so they will believe in God.

There are people living in the world out there…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are children crying and no one to care…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
And they’ll go on hurting in the world out there,
And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair,
And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

Who do you stand up for? Yourself, your beliefs, your friends and family?

I hope you stand up for yourself, but I also hope you stand up for your friends and family, your beliefs, and also those you don’t know, but who are being mistreated.

Strong people stand up for themselves, but stronger people stand up for others. ~ Nicky Gumbel

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:7 (NIV)

Wouldn’t it be great if, no matter what was happening in our life, we could be 100% sure what the outcome would be?

Well, while we may not know exactly how events will turn out, we can be sure that Christ is there with us.

Words are not one of my strong points (you may have noticed this!) – I struggle to find the right words sometimes to express how I feel or how to comfort or encourage others or even myself! However I have found that even when I can’t find any words, music can often comfort and encourage me, so I’m sure finding the right music can help anyone in whatever situation or circumstances they find themselves.

Here’s one of my ‘go to’ songs when I need some encouragement: