January 31, 2016

When You Belittle, You Become Little

‘Encourage…and build up one another.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NAS Here are four questions you need to be able to answer: (1) Do people feel better about themselves after spending time with you? (2) Are your expectations so high that you focus on people’s shortcomings instead of their strengths? (3) When somebody speaks well of a person you don’t particularly like, do you feel the need to inject a disparaging remark? (4) Are you so insecure and lacking in self-worth that you only feel good about yourself by putting others down? Well, how did you do on the test? If you’re not four-for-four, it’s time to spend time with God in […]
January 30, 2016

What Your Child Deserves (3)

‘…that it may go well with you and your children…’ Deuteronomy 4:40 NIV Sometimes we get scared because our kids remind us so much of ourselves. We see in them the same fears and proclivities that we have struggled with. We watch them veering off life’s highway in some of the same spots where we crashed and burned and it’s difficult not to want to save them. But sometimes we can’t. They’ve grown up with their own mindset, strengths and dreams. And if the parable of the prodigal son teaches us anything, it’s that good parents can raise children who are […]
January 29, 2016

What Your Child Deserves (2)

‘Bring them…so I may bless them.’ Genesis 48:9 NIV Here are three more things your children deserve from you: (1) Forgive them, and be willing to ask for their forgiveness. By doing this you’re teaching them that: a) We must all deal with the consequences of our actions. And that when we do, we grow. b) Failing doesn’t make you a failure; it’s just part of learning and maturing. It comes with the turf. c) We should be quick to extend to others the same grace that has so often been extended to us. (2) Separate the baggage. One man became anxious and depressed […]
January 28, 2016

What Your Child Deserves (1)

‘Children are a gift from the Lord.’ Psalm 127:3 NLT Your children deserve certain things, like: (1) Time. Not leftover time at the end of the day, but prioritised time. If your life is ruled by a schedule and your children aren’t on it, do something—quickly. Otherwise there’ll come a day when you’re not included in their schedule. Simply watching television together for three hours won’t cut it; you must be ‘emotionally present’. Sometimes that means letting them see your fears and insecurities, even as they witness your delight and appreciation of them. (2) Openness. There’s so much our children can teach us […]
January 27, 2016

‘Peace of Mind’

‘I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind.’ John 14:27 NLT You can control what goes on in your mind by filling it with God’s Word. Not the Word you read casually, but the Word you process mentally, apply to each situation that arises, and stand on in times of crisis because you know it’s your right to have the peace Jesus promised. Jesus corrected His disciples because they lost their peace of mind during a storm. He didn’t lose His. He was asleep in the back of the boat. So where are you today? Resting with Jesus in the […]
January 26, 2016

A Faith Perspective

‘Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I die I’ll have even more.’ Philippians 1:21 GWT Roman prisons were terrible places. Offenders were stripped, flogged and placed in leg irons. Their blood-soaked clothing wasn’t changed even in the dead of winter. And the ‘inner cell’ (Acts 16:24 NIV) where Paul and Silas were imprisoned was the worst. Lack of water, cramped conditions and the stench of toilets (if that’s what you could call them) made sleep impossible. Prisoners routinely begged for death, and some even committed suicide. It was your worst nightmare! Yet ‘Paul and Silas were…singing…and the […]
January 25, 2016

Today, Depend on God

‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT Hindrances, hang-ups, and hurdles are God’s gift to the self-sufficient. While He won’t let you use your weakness as a crutch or a cop-out, He’ll allow it to keep you dependent on Him. Paul wrote, ‘I was given a thorn…to…keep me from becoming proud.’ (2 Corinthians 12:7 NLT) Why would God keep you in touch with your limitations? To embarrass you? No, to empower you so that you can do His will. God’s intention is to increase, not decrease your need for Him. Perhaps this […]
January 24, 2016

Today, Speak Words that Encourage

‘You have… encouraged those who are weak or falling.’ Job 4:3 TLB The Bible says, ‘…let us pursue what makes for… mutual upbuilding.’ (Romans 14:19 ESV) When Job was in trouble, his friend Eliphaz reminded him how in the past Job’s words had ‘encouraged those who were weak or falling.’ Words can hurt or heal, bless or blister, destroy or deliver, tear down or build up. ‘The tongue has the power of life and death.’ (Proverbs 18:21 NIV) Jon Walker writes: ‘You…the one with Jesus in your heart—are capable of murder. And so am I. We have the power to speak death […]