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Life without pain is painful

If you had to ask a world-renowned sports athlete how he became so prosperous he would say that he suffered. If you had to ask a famous writer how he has become so crafty with words and sold many books he would tell you he suffered.

I heard this today in an interview with Jon Foreman, the lead singer and guitarist from the band Switchfoot, great band by the way, and he overheard it from someone else at the store funnily enough. Long story short the message he wanted to bring was that there is light in the chaos, a reason for adversity. if we never struggle in life we may struggle!

My favourite passage in the bible comes from a story in 2 Corinthians 12:10. It’s when Paul gets a thorn in his flesh and at first he is angry that it has happened to him but then comes a moment where he has come to terms with it. A moment of euphoria.

He then says: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and difficulties for when I am weak; then I am strong.”

Through the pain and suffering he finds his strength in God and grows from the experience. I’m sure there was an experience you had in your life that was seemingly impossible at the time but now would seem rather doable, perhaps easy.

I had that moment just recently, I do find it hard to say that it will be easier and less stressful next time around but even so I will at least know how to deal with the situation a lot more efficient.

I was challenged with an amount to pay that was just too much. Although I have some savings in case of an emergency I would still not be able to cover it. I would have to take out a loan that would possibly take me at least a year to pay off while I change my lifestyle to extreme minimalism. Practically never eating out. Not buying miscellaneous items I might need. Not putting money aside for my future. Nothing.

I had that plan but it was stupid. Flawed. I only started to get a better way to sort out the problem by seeking counsel from my mom. Aren’t they always the best advisors?

So I would have to plead to the other party and request that there is anything they can do, but I was nervous, worried what they would say. So I gave it a day. That evening my life group worshiped and sang the song Good Father. It reminded me how good He is, crazy isn’t it? The coincidence. Even though things are not going the way you want them to, even though you walk through the valley of suffering, fear and even though it seems impossible God is good. Maybe I do take out a loan, maybe not. Regardless He is good.

I started to declare it. When I was ready to confront the other party I was filled with peace and it turns out I couldn’t have gotten a better deal. I saved myself from a large loan. I was thrilled.

You may look at adversity and shake but I look at a time of suffering to produce growth(sometimes). What God also said in that passage is this:

” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

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Believing in Miracles

There are some radical stories of miracles. Some which have happened thousands of years ago and then there are those which are happening in our lifetime. If anything, more are recurring today.

But what is a miracle? – An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency. It comes from the Greek thaumasion and the Latin miraculum—as that which causes wonder and astonishment .

To witness a miracle is extremely special and sometimes we are the miracles: Being swept away from death, cured from imminent death or simply saved from harm. I have heard countless stories of people being raised from the dead. Some incredible stories have jumped to life.

So one would think that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. No sickness that can’t be cured for He has done it all am I right?

In my honest opinion I say yes. Yes he can save you even when your heart stops beating or any other terrible disease. I have faith in any situation. Regardless of the scientific probability of there being a transformation in a person’s situation, see what I did there 😉

But then there comes a task my way. A task that seems rather difficult, way out of my comfort, a task I will need to dedicate hours on to get done for weeks on end. It’s more like many tasks culminating to one big task. I can do it on my own though. I just need to eat right. Get the required sleep when I can and not spend a second procrastinating or getting distracted.

It is a big task. And right now I feel that I have fell short. Right now I’m rather sick, according to the doctor I have bronchitis. Thankfully it hasn’t reached the harmful stage and I am getting better by the day. My guess is I have been eating rather unhealthy and working rather hard. So once I’m fully recovered I’ll go back at it, this time still working as hard as I can but I won’t be eating so much junk, maybe just a little.

That way I’ll know for sure if I’m actually working too hard and need to reassess my timetable.

Sometimes He wants us to grow in our capacity while other times He wants us to learn saying no and get into His rest.

You might be wondering, now how on earth does this have to do with miracles or is this two different blog posts I accidentally added together?

So going back to miracles. I am able to succeed and complete my task on my own with the gifts and talents already given to me. But that’s not how our relationship with God should be. It should be a constant friendship, a constant relationship of guidance, wisdom and revelation. He can assist you to your goals in a swifter fashion, in a way that will leave you in a better state than you were.

I came off the phone with my mother today and she reminded me of something we tend to forget. God works outside of time. So seeing that time for Him is irrelevant He can take us out of the world where time is irrelevant while still keeping us here on earth. Something that may take 2 hours in our world can take just a few seconds if we are in God’s timing!

It may sound ridiculous to some, but try it, ask for that much needed time you need to get done what is needed to get done. I always wished that I could pause time, study for days for a test and when I have learned what I need to learn time will start again, I can write the test and I’ll receive great marks. As much as that can happen He will probably not do it if you leave your study time for the last few minutes before a test and then start to learn.

What I’m trying to portray though is that we can sometimes have faith for the impossible. Believe that anything is possible. But then comes something small. Something we don’t really need help from God, but then we believe we can do it ourselves or is something that doesn’t need the hand of God to help us. In fact, He wants to be there for us daily. For every single task regardless of the size or difficulty.

If we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can move mountains, but that also means we can move rocks.

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Down to the wire

I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about struggle lately. I’m going to talk about it again. Previously I have overcome it and this time is no different. Except that I am still in the middle of a big trial and tribulation. I know I can get through it too.

This last week has been tiresome. It’s one of those times where I really have had to grind through some challenges. A few sleepless nights, a few nights where my bedtime is the time I pass out. It doesn’t feel like the day ever ends, it’s just a constant battle.

However there was a day of triumph.

It’s rather a funny story too. So without further ado, here is my story.

My colleague and I arrive at a new clients house just after 9am. We had to install Wi-Fi into their house, but most importantly, the coverage had to be brilliant with no intermittent speeds. Problem was, the house was enormous. Monumental dare I say.

Reaching the very top of the house made us realise this was not going to be a normal job. We would be here for a while.

It probably took us about half an hour just to plan what to do. Plan A didn’t work. Plan B didn’t too. Luckily plan C worked out.

Plan C was risky. We had no idea how we were going to run a cable through the house through the conduits because we struggled to get through just one section of the room let alone the house. We did however see a data cable already inside the house. Was it meant for something? We weren’t sure. But we gave it a try. Seeing that either ends were not crimped. There were 3 sections of the house that needed Wi-Fi routers. The opposite ends were simple for there was clearly one data cable. However, in the middle of the house there were plenty of cables coming from all over the house. And they were all white. How would I know what was a data cable and what not? Then how would I know that it was the right cable?

I eventually narrowed it down to two cables. I had no idea which one was the cable so I took the two cables, one in each hand and prayed. I asked God which one to cut and waited.

I wasn’t going to do anything until I was sure God directed me to one. If I cut the wrong cable it could be devastating for I wouldn’t know what it was for.

I started to feel a pull on the right side. So I opened my eyes and saw what cable it was. Funny story I was holding onto the same cable! So it didn’t matter which cable I felt I should cut for it would be the same!

I felt that it had to be that cable so I cut it. It was very scary but I did it. When I eventually cut it I saw that it was in fact a data cable. What a relief. So if for some reason it wasn’t the right cable we could just add an extension.

Turns out it was the right cable after testing!

I was blown away by God’s goodness that day. What I learned from that experience is that sometimes God has already given you the tools you need to do what you are made to do.

What He also does occasionally is give you only one option so that you won’t need to worry on how any other outcome could go because He already knows the correct one.

We sometimes feel we need to be so spiritual to get an answer from Him and when we just start to do, when we make a choice, we start to see God’s hand guiding and assisting you. It is sometimes difficult to see at first because we judge the unfinished product. But once we see the final product we realise how He has been assisting us RIGHT FROM THE START.

My current product isn’t close to done but I know I am on the right track. It has given me courage not to give up but rather to push through, to give that little extra.

I declare perseverance to all who are reading this! Amen.

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Remaining Faithful

Your faith is only as strong as your last battle you overcame.

I submit to you, oh Lord. All of my ways. Whatever comes will come. Whatever cards I have won’t matter as long as I have you. As long as you are there to help me. I can’t do this alone. Everything I have achieved to this day was due to your goodness. Your love, Your grace.

These were the words I proclaimed last night. We were gathered at church for students that had a worship evening prepared for us. Even though they can be seen as young and inexperienced the Lord spoke that night and His Spirit flowed.

Though I felt overwhelmed with countless things, feeling like a constant failure at life at who I am and what I do I realised what was most important: My relationship with God. It’s impossible to please everyone and impossible to be perfect. We are all sinful. Everyone at some point in our lives will let us down.

But not God.

Not our Father, who is perfect. Ever-present. We can only serve God or man, but not both.

No man can serve two masters: for either he. will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. – Matthew 6:24

Going back to my very first statement. We all face challenges. Sometimes they become so tough they become battles. You end up going through a process that brings you either closer to God or further away. Right now I feel at breaking point but that’s where the faith comes in. Where it truly gets tested. If I succeed in maintaining belief that this too shall pass my faith will grow.

I’m not saying that we should sit back and have hope all will end well. We need to give our side as well; but we are not alone. He can guide us through it all. Give us the wisdom to go through. He is the perfect counselor.

If you have a huge task that lies before you the first thing you need to do is have hope and pray, then the answer will come. Sometimes very quickly, other times maybe not so much, but the faith that it will all work out in the end.

Blessings to all.

Who to spend your time with

You Are The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With.

I’m sure you have heard that saying before at least a few times.

Because it’s so true!

Your friends have a huge impact on your mindset. Imagine how inspired you would be if you were friends with Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and whoever inspiring person you could think of. There wouldn’t be a night where you wouldn’t be thinking about your future and what greatness lies ahead for you. You would be willing to take a huge leap of faith. You would do exactly what you love because your friends are doing it. They’re supporting you every step of the way.

But if your friends were not the greatest? What if they saw the world as a dark place and it’s a fight for the fittest and if you get scraps that’s fine? It’s going to affect you negatively. Your vision of life would probably also not be so great.

That’s why it is important to have positive friends.

I got to know someone through this year and we became friends but one thing I noticed about him was his negativity about life. All he would speak about would be the things that irritate him. This beautiful place that I call home was perceived dark, depressing and a place to be broken.

The friendship actually got to a point where I would start to think negatively about things that he saw as negative. It eventually came to a point that I snapped at my colleague at work because I started to see the things that irritate people instead of the things that makes him stand out and that makes him a really nice person.

Fortunately I realised what was happening before it became a problem. It made me realise the importance of who we spend our time with. It doesn’t mean I should unfriend that person; but rather speak life to him and the goodness that I can see in other people and over the places we see instead of listening to negativity.

Sorround yourself with people you admire.

But don’t let that saying constrain you. You can be the difference in your friendship group. The fresh apple in the basket (which is a stupid thing to say because the rotten apples will stay rotten, or get worse, but anyways). But what I can say is that it wouldn’t hurt to have aspiring friends.

Every good dream begins with a dreamer.

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Promises from God

Don’t you ever get a word from someone that things are going to get better? Or that the harvest is near? We always hear from others how things will get better as long as we trust God and spend time with Him, but what does He promise in the Word?

But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33.

Now in this verse it may seem that everything we need and want will be ours but it is in fact not true. He only promises food for our bellies and clothing on our bodies.

That’s it!

In the passage God is telling us not to worry for food and clothing for that will be given to us. But that is it. No other mention of anything else.

Don’t let your trust in God be that you will be blessed, because that will become your idol.

I have been a victim of this too. Trusting for something rather than being content with what I have. It is just crazy how focused we can become on something that hasn’t happened yet and will not give us fruit. If it has been promised then so be it, Your life does not need to revolve around it.

It’s a gift to be happy when you have nothing.

What we forget to realise is that we have everything regardless of what is in our homes and bank accounts. The culture we live in today says we must strive for more, always searching to receive and never actually give. It isn’t wrong to want more but one must be careful of what they want because it can rule over them rather than be a goal to look forward to.

If we are humble with the little we have then surely the same will be with the overflow of things we will possess. However, when we become greedy with the little you can surely bet we will be greedy with the abundance of things.

Sometimes we need to be humbled before we can receive what is truly installed for us.

It is always important to be happy with what you have, but also in pursuit for more. If you have a filled stomach and warm clothing tonight then you are richer than 821 million people in our world.

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Breaking boundaries

We did it!

Our first excursion that my friend and I planned went according to plan.

If you read my blog “Finding the one” written about 2 weeks ago you might remember me saying one needs to challenge oneself in order to grow. I have just done that and I am going to share just a little bit of what we did.

Now this first excursion the two of us had was not in any way daunting nor for one second did we get anxious. It was rather just to get the ball rolling so to speak.

The first idea we had was to go hiking at a mountain called Lady Slipper. Sounds scary right? Probably not. The thing that made it interesting was that we were planning to do it at night. That plan then become challenging for multiple reasons so we decided to make it a simpler hike.

There is a place close to where my friend stays that is situated at the very top of our town and it had a water tower so the view would most likely be breathtaking.

We decide to go for it just before sunrise. It was a very pleasant evening with the occasional breeze.

We didn’t know if it was safe to go. We weren’t even sure how to get there and of course we didn’t know if we were allowed to go. But who cares…

Long story short we made it to the tower and we got to see the sun set leaving a beautiful array of colours over the horizon.

We did actually see a few people drive past us but strangely enough we were unnoticed. I know now we probably shouldn’t go in the person’;s property but for a view like this I’ll be willing to do it again.