Category Archives: Soul Train

This New Year – go practical!

‘With God all things are possible.’ Matthew 19:26 NIV.

These are practical “New Year’s resolutions” from Jon Gordon as gotten from Bob Gass’ The Word For Today. It was actually the Word for the first day of the New Year but I decided to share today, a week after 1st of January as the euphoria of “New Year” must be wearing of and we are ready to “get practical” again.

Hope we learn something.

Thinking New Year’s Resolutions are impractical and impossible? Maybe you should try these ones:

(1) Stay positive. You can listen to the cynics and believe success is impossible, or believe: “With God all things are possible.”

(2) Each day when you awake complete this statement: “My purpose is ____________.”

(3) Take a morning walk of gratitude. It creates a fertile mind for success. You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time, and when you combine gratitude with physical exercise you give yourself a double-boost of positive energy and natural anti-depressants.

(4) Instead of being disappointed about where you are, think optimistically about where you’re going.

(5) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college-kid with a maxed-out charge card!

(6) Believe that everything happens for a reason, and good things come from challenging experiences.

(7) Don’t waste energy on gossip…past issues…negative thoughts…and things you can’t control. Invest in the positive, present moment.

(8) Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

(9) Live with the three E’s: Energy. Enthusiasm. Empathy.

(10) Remember there’s no substitute for hard work.

(11) Zoom-Focus: Ask yourself, “What are the three most important things I need to do today?”

(12) Implement the “No complaining” rule. Complaining is like vomiting; afterwards you feel better but people around you feel sick!

(13) Read more books than you did last year.

(14) Get more rest. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte!

(15) Before bed complete these statements: “I’m thankful for ____________;” “Today I accomplished ____________”

(16) Think of your mind like a garden. If you weed the negative and feed the positive for one day it doesn’t do much, but when you do it every day you create a magnificent garden.’

And there we are, 16 practical New Year’s resolutions everyone can take as their own. I am certainly going to be reading… or better still, studying these resolutions again and again… and make them a part of my 2017.

Hope you do the same. Have a God-filled Sunday.


Don’t Forget The Little Blessings

‘When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God.’ Deuteronomy 8:10 NIV

*This is from Bob Gass’ THE WORD FOR TODAY (actually today’s word). I’ve re-entitled it. I hope we are blessed by God’s reminder for us not to forget the small blessings.*

We decided to reprint this story because its message is timeless:

‘They huddled inside the storm door – two children in ragged, oversized coats. “Any old papers, lady?” I was busy. I wanted to say no – until I saw their feet. Little sandals sopped with sleet. “Come in and I’ll make you some hot cocoa.” There was no conversation. Their soggy sandals left marks on the hearthstone. I served them cocoa with toast and jam to fortify them against the chill outside. Then I went back to the kitchen to work on my household budget. The silence in the front room struck through me. I looked in. The little girl held the empty cup in her hands and looked at it. The boy asked, “Lady, are you rich?” I looked at my shabby slipcovers. “Am I rich? Mercy, no!” The girl put the cup in its saucer – carefully. “Your cups match your saucers.” Her voice was old with a hunger not of the stomach. They then left, holding their bundles of paper against the wind. They hadn’t said thank you. They didn’t need to – they’d done more than that. Much more. Plain blue pottery cups and saucers, but they matched. Potatoes in brown gravy; a roof over our heads; my man with a good steady job – these things matched, too. I moved the chairs back from the fire and tidied the living room. The muddy prints of small sandals were still wet on my hearth. I let them be. I want them there in case I ever forget how rich I am!’

The word for you today is: Don’t forget to thank God… For the little blessings.

Free to be Yourself

I think one of the hardest things to be most times is YOURSELF. And that is weird, and possibly troubling, because being yourself should be the easiest thing to be. I mean, like how hard can it be to be me, hmm? But it is hard; and it is made hard because there are so many, too many, people, rules, thoughts, religious doctrines, fashion-forward ideas, parental and societal obligations, telling you who you ought to be.

This morning, during our family prayer and whilst studying The Word For Today, we came across this teaching from Bob Gass and I thought to share it as it reminds you and me that there is only one person we can be, and God wants you being: Yourself.

Hope you will be blessed by this message.

“So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.” John 8:36 (Amplified Version)

We live in a world of peer pressure. Others set the standard and we wear it, drive it, quote it or do it. In some cases that’s okay, but not when it comes to your life’s direction. Jesus said, “If the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free” (John 8:36 AMP). That means you’re free from the pressures others try to put on you; free to be the person God called you to be; free to look to him for answers instead of always looking to other people. The Bible says, “A man can receive nothing… unless it has been granted to him from Heaven” (John 3:27 AMP).

The “I ONLY” Syndrome

He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 1 Kings 19:10.

Depression convinced Elijah that nobody else on earth was as badly off as him. He felt “terminally unique”. We all go through it. Behind your neighbour’s smile or the nameplate on your boss’s door, there are struggles they can’t talk about.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We may have arrived on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.” Paul wrote, “No test or temptation… is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.” (1 Corinthians 10: 12-13; The Message Version)

He Knows You – do you?

Who better than the one who created a thing to know it?

I always think to myself, I know myself. No one knows me like I know myself. No one gets me. They don’t know who I am. They don’t know what I can do. But I am starting to think: Do I really know myself? Do I truly know who I am? Who I am meant to be? Do I know what I can do? Am I not living below the standard of who, and what, I was created to be?

No one knows better how a thing should function than the one who invented (created) that thing. No one knows better than the manufacturer the ins and outs of a thing. God is our manufacturer. He is our creator. No one, better than Him, knows how we should function. No one, better than Him, knows our default setting. He set us up. He put everything the way it should be… so He knows.

God knows you. Do you know you?

Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” That is part of the word God spoke to Jeremiah as He called him and that same word applies to us all. Before we were each formed in our mother’s womb, He knew us. He knew us. He knew who we are. He knew what we will become. He had a vision for us.

He not only knows us from before the time we were born, He knows us now (better than we know ourselves) because He knows the working innards of our minds. Psalm 139:4: “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold O Lord, you know it altogether.” Before a word is formed by our tongue and we think to speak it, God knows it because He knows the inner working of our hearts and minds. He knows the thoughts of our hearts. The entire Psalm 139 tells us how much God knows us. He is with us wherever we may be. Nothing can hide us from His all-seeing eyes.

Adam tried to hide after choosing to eat the forbidden fruit with Eve and God saw Him but decided to ask Him: “Adam, where are you?” Not because He couldn’t see him but because sin has sent Adam out of his presence. Sin will drive us out of the presence of God, for nothing unclean dares behold His presence, but God still sees us… and He knows us. He knows the true motive of every one of our actions. Even when we pretend to ourselves, and deceive others, we cannot pretend before God nor deceive Him. He is Omniscient — all-seeing and all-knowing.

God knows me. God knows you. Do I want to know myself? Do you want to know yourself? Then we need to have direct contact with our manufacturer (our creator). We need to read the manual on our creation. We need to draw closer to Him and say to Him: Father, teach me about me. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. I’ve been running around in circles like a pigeon. I can’t seem to get it right. What’s my purpose, Lord? Why did you create me and put me on this earth?

We need to ask God. He knows us! Exodus 3:4: “Moses! Moses!” God called Moses by name — because He knows Him. He knew who Moses was and who he will become even as Moses’s mother conceived and bore him. That is how He know you and I… BY NAME.

How old are you?

Seriously, I just asked myself that question as I returned from church: Theo, how old are you? How much more time do you have to flutter about like a one-eyed confounded bird? I haven’t got time. And you, do you have time?

We need to know why we are here.

It is not so we can be a “local champion”. Prancing about the world wide web terrorizing other users because we feel like lions when in fact we are less than domestic cats. It is not so that we brag about that “little” income you make and feel superior to less-earning folks. It is not so that you think yourself  “all above it” and righteous because you’ve been born-again since the never-never and don’t fornicate, pay your tithe and avoid the dens of the wicked whilst your neighbour is a “sinner”.

That is not your purpose. God has got something bigger, better, more edifying for you in mind. When He created the manufacturer’s manual for TM David-West, He had unimaginable greatness in mind. Do I want to access that greatness? Then I need the manual. And if I want the manual, then I need God.

You want the manual that tells you who you are to be? Go after God. Seek Him. Pursue Him. Open the door of your heart to Him… He is knocking. Let Him in. Stay at His feet… like Mary did. Stop fluttering about… go after God. Go after Jesus. He’s got your number. Mmm-hmm, that man knows you like no other. And He can make you better than you ever dreamed to be. He says in Jeremiah 29:11: “I know the plans I have for you.” That was His declaration. And we are not talking nondescript plans here… uh-uh. For He further says: “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Those are His plans for you… for me.

He knows you. If you want to know you… seek Him… and ask Him.

May God bless us as we go into this new week and reveal Himself and His plans to us as we seek Him.

Y’all have a blessed week now.


Dare to be Thankful

Sometimes I think, and really I make myself ponder, what do I have to be thankful for? Nothing I want is yet to be. I have so much hope. I have too many desires. I have needs that truly are needs. And I look, and I have nothing.

I pray, and I hope, and I strive to apply my faith. Yet many days pass, weeks follow and the months become years and these prayers (requests) lie unanswered. Sometimes, there are messages that my prayers have been answered. Sometimes, I manage to listen to that still voice and it says to me: “I have heard and answered your prayers.” And yet, I see nothing. There is no change. I still have my wants, I still possess same desires and my needs are still not met.

And 1 Chronicles 16:34 says: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Your Shepherd In All Places

Psalm 23 For The Work Place:

The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want.

He gives me peace, when chaos is all e=”text-align: justify;”>He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without murmuring and complaining.

He reminds me that He is my source (and not my job). He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions that I might honour Him in all that I do.

Even though I face an absurd amount of e-mails, system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, discriminating supervisors and an aging body that doesn’t cooperate every morning, I still will not stop, for He is with me.

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