Do you need to re-open wells in your life?

In the days of Genesis 26, digging a well signified ownership of the land. The well provided water. The water represents for us: The Word of God, Salvation (eternal life) and the Holy Spirit.

Hearing about Isaac re-opening the wells that his father, Abraham, dug got me thinking about:

1) Are there any wells in my life that needs re-opening?

2) Was there any well that I’ve moved on from but should not have?

3) Do I need to dig new wells?

Having a well that works where the water is flowing signifies that the Holy Spirit and the Word of God is alive and working in our life. Does water flow smoothly through your well?

Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them. – Genesis 26:18 (NIV)

Are you fighting a Battle that’s already been won?

Listening to the song below made me ponder if I was fighting a battle that’s already been won. After we’ve received our blessing or breakthrough, something may happen and we question ourselves if we need to keep fighting and calling out to God for something He already did.

We need to remember that the battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s, and He always win His battles. Our posture and position in this need to be one of prayer and submission to His will.

Extract from the song Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave.

Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me "son
Stop fighting a fight that's already been won"

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed
I'm redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, "Child lift up your head"
I remember oh God, You're not done with me yet

For the battle is not yours, but God’s… - 2 Chronicles 20: 15 (NIV)

How are you doing?

I learnt recently that we are either on auto answer or do not stop and really listen to the answer to the question, how are you?

Our auto answer goes something like “good and you?” Could it be that we are in a hurry or do not really want to answer the question? Think about it from your situation, when was the last time that someone was really honest of how they are doing when you asked them?

How about your answer to the question, how are you? Is it that we are too busy to properly reply or we’re not ready to share how we are really doing?

I heard some stories recently where people masked how they were really doing until it reached a tipping point. In the end, God showed up and changed their lives for the better. Now, they are encouraging others to be honest with themselves and their loved ones when asked how they’re doing.

The next time you ask someone how they are doing, stop, look them in the eye and really listen to their answer.

The next time you are asked, take your time and follow the Holy Spirit’s lead and be honest in answering how you are doing.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. - 1 Peter 5: 7-10 (NIV)

Your Comeback

Are you planning how you are going to use your comeback to Glorify God?

I recently was reading this book by Tony Evans - Your Comeback: Your Past Doesn't Have to Determine Your Future.

The book asks, “When God breaks the nets of your life and gives you the comeback you’ve long desired, will you take what He has given you and use it just for yourself? Or will you follow Him by helping others who need a comeback?”

A few years ago, employers would not hire you if you failed at anything. Today, employers are reluctant to hire you if you have not failed at something.

The book goes on to say, “This is because the road to success often passes through many different difficulties and failures. In fact, failure is often an ingredient of future success because in it we discover wisdom and self-discipline and we sharpen our vision for the future.”

This captures it:

The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use

It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me

[from the song Broken Things by Matthew West].

Whatever you are going through today, put it in God’s hands and let Him take care of it. The trials we face should draw us closer to Him. Plan how you are going to use your comeback to glorify Him.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. - James 1:12 (NIV)

Financial Fitness

Financial Fitness from the Fit 4 Life sermon series was a timely reminder of something dear to my heart – stewardship of God’s money.

In my career so far, both from a professional and volunteer perspective, I have experienced the attitude of managing finances from two perspectives, one being from the world perspective and the other being from God’s perspective.

Having been an Auditor and an Accountant for 20+ years, I have seen quite a few examples of how businesses and churches are blest when they put God first and trust Him with their finances.

This is an area where God challenges us to test Him and when we do, see if we will have room to contain His blessing (see verse below).

Let me encourage you, wherever you are in life to remember that everything belongs to God and we are to be good stewards of what He’s entrusted to us.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. - Malachi 3:10 (NIV)

Finding God

Are you doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?  This is the definition of insanity.

Let me encourage you to try something different this year.

I heard it said this way “feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.” We need to trust God at all times, not only when we do not have the answers or after we would have tried all other options.

Our strength grows through the troubles we face and the difficulties we go through trusting in God. Our faith grows every time we choose to bring our doubts to God in prayer.

Look for God in your everyday moments. God is there, if we pause and look with our eyes of faith, we will find Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

Time

With the 21 days of prayer and fasting started, how are you doing for time?

Are you able to commit and spend time (or more time) in prayer and fasting?

I find that praying and fasting is the best way to start the New Year. Spending time with our Lord in prayer and fasting is very beneficial to us in that it draws us closer to Him.

As you fast and pray over the next few days, I pray that you feel God’s presence as a source of strength, encouragement and joy in your life.

Following up from last week, did you memorize a verse? I would like to share a verse with you that is good to memorize: “No weapon formed again you shall prosper…..” Isaiah 54:17. When you pray, you can customize it by saying “no weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

Your Word: My Resolution

I would like to propose a resolution for the year 2019.

The resolution is to hide God’s word in our heart (see Psalm 119:11).

The idea here is to memorise some verses from the bible and use them whenever we feel down or afraid or far from God or like we are not making progress or ………

I would like to propose memorising one verse per month. In this way, we will memorise 12 verses by this time next year. You can memorise 2 or 3 or 4 or more verses per month if you feel so led.

I will leave the verses to memorise to you as your situation would be different from mine. Most bibles have a topical index or reference section by topic at the back. Look up the topic that you are interested in and see the bible verses it recommends. The intention is to get God’s word into us so that we can recall it from memory easily for use when needed.

The bible also says that God’s word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (see Psalm 119:105). May this be very evident to us in the year 2019 as we hide His word in our heart.

Start small….

Dream BIG….

TRUST God…

Be obedient to His guidance and

Praise Him every step of the way

As you Memorise His word.

The bible says that the sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. – Psalm 119:160 (ESV)

Easy to do? Or not?

The things that are easy to do are also the things that are easy not to do.

Sometimes we take things for granted in the sense that what seems like a trivial task to complete or a simple chore that will take very little time to complete, we either leave it for the last minute or for a later date.

We can fall in the trap of not doing the things that are easy to do as our thought process may be that it can be done by someone else. This can then become a situation where I do not do the things that I want to do. But the things that I don’t want to do, I end up doing!

A practical example: a book that I can read over a 17-day period, one chapter a day. However, I don’t do this as I end up watching television (playing a sport, following social media, going out, etc.) more than I should on a regular basis. This causes a delay in reading the book and now, a few months later, I still have not completed the book.

Take a moment to reflect on your current view of things that are easy to do and the things you should do and ask yourself, “am I doing them?”

Let me encourage you to be intentional in writing down what you would like to do and as you complete it, take it off the list.

This will help you to start doing the things that are easy to do and doing the things you should do.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”– Romans 7:15 (NIV)

Christmas Tradition

What’s your Christmas tradition? Was it started by you or handed down the family line?

Sometimes we go to lengths to keep a Christmas tradition as it means a lot to us.

Let me encourage you in that whatever your Christmas tradition is, do it in such a way that God’s light can shine through you so that those around you can see Jesus in what you do.

Remember, without Christ, there is no Christmas, so let’s add ‘giving thanks to God for sending Jesus’ to our Christmas Tradition. 

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”– Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)

Filtering our Thoughts

How are your thoughts these days?

With Christmas around the corner and the increased busyness of stores and roadways, I’m sure that we are getting lots of thoughts.

Also, when we are going through a trial, loss of a loved one or a faith building journey, our thoughts may not be positive, or God focused. How should we filter our thoughts?

I know that not all thoughts we have are good thoughts. How can we change this?

The bible encourages us to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ- 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

Who are you working for?

Listening to the radio today, the speaker quoted Colossians 3:23-24. His context was that he is a writer and gets to work in his pajamas. However, he was not too keen on some of the deadlines his boss imposes on him. The point: even your dream job would have something you do not like.

This hit home for me. I took it as a timely reminder from God of what I need to do as I place my trust in Him.

Remember that God put us in our current job for a purpose and perhaps, we were placed at our job for a time like this.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

Our Home

The late Billy Graham said, “My home is in Heaven. I’m just travelling through this world.”
This came to mind on Sunday as we received news of a dear Saint going to be with the Lord.

Her family will see her again, only next time it will be in Heaven. This is the assurance we have as believers and followers of Jesus Christ.

Let me encourage you to live your life intentionally knowing and declaring, “My home is in Heaven.”

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Corinthians 5 (NIV)

Un-Common

The new sermon series we started on uncommon is a timely reminder that sometimes the things we need to do in order to achieve what God is leading us to do would appear to be uncommon in the eyes of the world.

Being uncommon in the eyes of the world is an opportunity to share with others our reason for being uncommon. We get to share Jesus with them.

When things around us are not lining up to what God’s word says, we need to have uncommon faith and hold on to our belief that He who started a good work in us will see it to completion (Philippians 1:6).

What kind of Thoughts are you Feeding?

I’ve learnt that what you don't feed dies.

What I mean here is if I usually have negative or wrong thoughts regarding serving in my ministry, doing something that will be beneficial to me or reading God’s word, I can choose to do something about it. Thus, if I don’t feed these negative or wrong thoughts, over time, they will become less frequent and eventually “die.”

I also learned that replacing negative or wrong thoughts with something positive is very useful and to do this, I go to the Bible for guidance and inspiration. One such bible verse is, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Here are some more that you can personalize as follows:

-I am a child of God (John 1:12)

-The Holy Spirit lives in me (1 Cor. 3:16)

-I am not condemned by God (Rom. 8:1)

-I am assured that all things are working together for good (Rom. 8:28)

-I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35)

If you keep feeding ‘good thoughts’, they will grow and serve you well.

If you stop feeding ‘negative thoughts’, they will die.

Does your Age Matter?

Do you sometimes talk yourself out of doing something because of your age?

Maybe I am not old enough….

Maybe my time to do that has passed….

After hearing about one of our church members sharing her faith that resulted in her leading that person to Jesus, I celebrated. When I heard that she is 94 years of age, I said WOW!

That was a reminder to me that God can use me to accomplish His will, if I am obedient.

Is there something that God has been or is calling you to do? Let me encourage you to heed His call today, no matter what your age, after all, “age is just a number” as aptly demonstrated here.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. - 2 Corinthians 4 (NLT)

Being Willing

It was good to hear in church last Sunday about asking the Holy Spirit to break into our week so that we could break into someone’s week and help them on their journey with Jesus.

As God provides the opportunity, I pray that we will be obedient to do His will.

Being willing and obedient to following God’s will on these promptings and directions are faith builders.

I’m waiting with excitement to see how God will break into my days and hear how He broke into your days.

My HOPE

The word HOPE is still on my mind.

Without hope, we have nothing to hold on to and that is why the words of the song by David Crowder – All my Hope – is reminding me that Jesus is my hope.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my yesterday's gone
All my sins are forgiven
I've been washed by the blood

Tough times come and go, and we can make the tough times go away easier (and sometimes faster) if we anchor our hope on Jesus.

That’s why I will sing:

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my……

Make this one of your default encouragers.

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. - Psalm 33:20-22 (NLT)

Give Thanks

As Woodvale continues to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we assist the community post the tornado passing through the city of Ottawa, I would like to encourage you to give thanks.

Give thanks that you are alive, give thanks that you can help clean up, give thanks that you were protected, give thanks that God has blessed you to be a blessing to others specifically at this time.

As the church prepares to serve the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner this Friday to our community and those affected by the tornado, let us continue to pray for those affected.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.– Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Does your Anchor Hold?

With all that has happened in our city last Friday, I could not help but think of those affected by the storm.

When trying times come, I am reminded of the hymn “My hope is built on nothing less.”

Here are a few versus from that hymn:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean in Jesus' Name

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil


Does your anchor hold?

Let’s keep those affected by the storm in our prayers.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.Hebrews 6:19 NIV