Sunday, 27 January 2013

Reviews

It is the end of January and time has flown past! Truly, this has been one of the hardest, most challenging starts to the year that I have ever had. It started with a bang, especially at work, and then all the other areas of life that I also have to give time to. Not that I am complaining, I like being busy.

At the beginning of this year I, as most people do, made some resolutions. Every year I also buy an organising diary and plan things for the year and assist me to keep to stick to my resolutions. By this time, still in January, I evaluate how things are going. Not bad thus far, not bad.

The question is not always the on the physical things: work, exercise (don't we all make those!), leisure, etc, but more regarding our spiritual life. How do I measure up on adjustments I wanted to make in this regard? Do I wake up earlier, do I spend a lot of time daily, do I read, write and meditate on His word daily, as much as possible?

Even if I do all of the above, is it sincere, from the heart, or just because I want to satisfy all of my goals? The bigger question is, how is it REALLY going? Am I having a personal relationship with the Almighty God, maker of the entire universe?

WOW, there are more questions than answers. Let's investigate this week.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Questions?

We all ask questions every day. I ask questions of my wife, my family, my clients, my colleagues, and of God. Yes, you heard right, of God.
 
Is it correct of me to ask questions to, and further, of God?
 
Who knows? I don’t. All I do know is that I am not angry at God. I am not blaming God if things go wrong for me. I love Him more and more every day, no matter what happens. You see, it does not depend on how my situation turns out, it is all about my relationship with Him. Relationship with my wife, my family, my clients, my colleagues, etc. Whether I ask questions, or give answers, or opinions, the trust we share in our relationship is what counts.
 
Whatever happens, remember:
“In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” —Job 1:22
 
Ask questions to grow, but do not blame


PS: If you want, buy the February 2013 "Lig" magazine, there is an article of my story on page 64.

 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Stupid or lazy?

Proverbs 3:1 says that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

How many times in life have we said that? I can recall plenty of times that I have said to others that something will happen in good time. Or even just mention that one should 'give it time'. In certain respects, I guess, there is nothing wrong with that...

Now, ask yourself, if you spend your whole life working hard to gather an inheritance for your kids, or proper retirement money, is that time well spent? Yes. And no, if you spent that time at the expense of your family, your kids and relationships. The fact that we have to be clever with work etc is a given, but we need to be smart in balancing life and real life.

Luke 12:13 and onwards Jesus tells us about the rich fool. He worked hard for a while, but stopped as soon as he was rich. From then on he wanted to party only. But that night life will be demanded from him, what will he have then?

Don't be stupid and/or lazy, live life to the full, work hard, at work and with your relationships!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Miss-use

We all had times in our life when we did not do things according to God's plan. In general terms, we call this sin. The word sin actually means to miss the mark. By missing the mark, we are not pleasing God, we don't enhance our christian reputation.

Especially during our youth, we used to quote 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to aid us in times of weakness... Test all things. Hold on to the good. Yes, I agree, the verse is in the Bible. Unfortunately I've got a pet had in people using it. Miss-using it!

So, let us have a closer look. Take it in context. If we read some of the verses before it, all of it is encouragement. Uplifting. Don't pay back wrong for wrong. Be joyful always. Pray continually. Always give thanks. Avoid all evil. Don't put out the spirits fire. 

All of the above are positives. All of it gives hope. Nothing is mentioned about sin. We must do it all: Test it all. Nowhere in the Bible is sin condoned. Not in 1 Thes 5:21 either. The aim is not to sin, never. Let's help each other. Lovingly...



Monday, 7 January 2013

GRAP 17

In accounting we have two options when displaying the value of our assets. They are the same as in basic life, either at cost, or at market value. Cost is obviously the amount you pay for a specific asset on the day of purchasing it. It does not change as that is the cost of your asset.

Market value (to all my very highly qualified accounting friends: I am deliberately using this term as I want to keep it simple) is the current value of an asset. It could either be higher or lower than the original cost. For instance, buildings generally increase in value, while motor vehicles depreciate as they get older.

You might ask why we do not disclose all assets at market value as it seems to be a better reflection of what the assets are worth? I do agree, but unfortunately it is not always that easy to determine the current market value. Buildings and motor vehicles are easy, but what about furniture, computers and more technical equipment.

We were also bought, but not with money.
1 Peter 1:18 says: For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

That is way more than any other cost, or market value, ever determined. But we are not in debt for that, we are free!


More tomorrow...

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Useless

Hebrews 11:6 NIV84

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

If you read this verse it is clear that we need to have faith. The question then becomes: What is faith? According to the dictionary faith is a noun

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. 
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims. 4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith. 
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith. 
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles. 
8. Christian Theology: the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

That, to me, is a whole mouth full! The words TRUST is mentioned a few times. Trust in a person, trust in God, etc. To trust is the confident expectation of something.

So how do we show this faith, this trust, in order to please God? And is it important to please God? Well, read your Bible, pray, be generous, go to church, act on His word in your life, etc. Sadly, if we do not please Him, in contrast, it means that we do not believe. It is useless...

Grow your faith, trust God more and more. Please Him, you will reap the rewards...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New years resolutions

During this time of the year everyone change their habits. We think for a while about things we want to change from the previous year, but also things we want to achieve during the current year. Some are big decisions, some small adjustments. Either way, they all add up in the greater scheme of where we want to be later on in life.

I would hope that somewhere on everyones list there is a space for our faith as well... Whether it is to do more bible study, to go to church more often, to have an honest relationship, or to recommit to Him, they all count. 

It is already 3 January, time does not stand still at all. These plans have to go be actioned at some stage. While we are at it, God also has plans for us. See what He says in His word:

Jeremiah 29:11 in the amplified version:

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts  and  plans for welfare and  peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Jeremiah 29:11 in the NIV of 1984:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We can trust Him, He does what He says

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2013


The number 13 is considered an unlucky number in some countries. Charles Stewart Parnell had an irrational fear of the number thirteen. The end of the Mayan calendar's 13th Baktun was superstitiously feared as a harbinger of the apocalyptic 2012 phenomenon. Fear of the number 13 has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word which was coined in 1911. The superstitious sufferers of triskaidekaphobia try to avoid bad luck by keeping away from anything numbered or labelled thirteen. As a result, companies and manufacturers use another way of numbering or labeling to avoid the number, with hotels and tall buildings being conspicuous examples (Thirteenth floor). It's also considered to be unlucky to have thirteen guests at a table.Friday the 13th has been considered the unluckiest day of the month.

 
There are a number of theories behind the cause of the association between thirteen and bad luck, but none of them have been accepted as likely.
1 - The Last Supper
At Jesus Christ's last supper, there were thirteen people around the table, counting Christ and the twelve apostles.
2 - Knights Templar
On Friday 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar.
3 - Full moons
A year which contained 13 full moons instead of 12 posed problems for the monks who were in charge of the calendars. "This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number."
However, in a typical century, there will be about 37 years which have 13 full moons compared with 63 years with 12 full moons, and typically every third or fourth year would have 13 full moons.
The moon moves 13 degrees around the earth every day. It Takes 13 days to change from Full Moon to New Moon and 13 days to change back with 1 day Full and 1 day New to equal 28 days of the Lunar Cycle.

 
All of the above might be true for many people, but what is a biblical perspective of the number 13?
 
The number 13 is often seen as an ill omen representing hostility, rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption.
·         Thirteen is the 6th prime number.
·         Judas is considered to be the thirteenth; Jesus is #1 plus the 12 holy Apostles; Judas is always named last in the list of Apostles [Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16].
·         The Israelites marched around the city of Jericho thirteen times before the city collapsed (Josh 6:2-5).
·         Ishmael, the illegitimate son of Abraham, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. [Genesis 17:23]
·         Leaven is a sign for sin. The gematria for leaven, zumee in Hebrew, is thirteen.
·         The Virgin Mary often appears on the thirteenth day of the month. This number obviously has no power over her. Remember it was prophesied that her son would crush the head of the serpent in Genesis 3:15 and that the Serpent would make war on her children [Revelation 12:17]. She defies the devil and defends her son's Church and her children, Jesus' faithful disciples.
 
Now, for 2013 we can either believe all of the above opinions, or we can go about it in a positive manner, ensuring that we break the curse and live a free life through Christ. He has died for our sins and affords us the oppertunity to live knowing that no number has any power over us.
 
As for luck, the word does not appear in the NIV Bible even once, indicating that it does not matter. It is fate, and sometimes character building, but never lucky and/or unlucky.