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Leanna, Bjorn and Josh
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The Word For Today

How to solve problems 1



'The people became very discouraged on the way.' Numbers 21:4 NKJV

To reach the Promised Land the Israelites had to 'go around the land of Edom' (Numbers 21:4 NKJV). The journey was longer, and 'the people became very discouraged'. There's a lesson here. The best way to escape a problem is to solve it. Between you and your 'promised land' you'll face issues that have to be resolved. Recognising obstacles for what they are - temporary tests of your resolve, ability and faith in God - won't do you much good if you don't know how to handle them.

So let's discuss problem solving. First, recognise that you'll always have problems. A university student sent this email to his mum: 'Dropped out of uni, coming home tomorrow. Prepare Dad.' The email he got back said, 'Dad prepared. Prepare yourself!' Al Davis, who owned the Oakland Raiders American football team, said: 'A great leader doesn't treat problems as special. He treats them as normal. If you're working, expect problems. If you're dealing with family, expect problems. If you're just minding your own business and trying to relax, expect problems. If everything goes according to plan, then be pleasantly surprised. If it doesn't, and you've planned accordingly, you won't get so frustrated. A problem not anticipated is a problem. A problem anticipated is an opportunity.'

Paul said, 'To him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us...be glory...forever' (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV). The problem you're facing today is just an opportunity for God to do for you or through you what you can't do by yourself.

Soulfood: Judg 16:1-31 Judg 17 Judg 18 Judg 19:1-15 Matt 18:1-9 Ps 119:89-96 Pro 18:1-5,

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When the family shatters



'Forgive anyone who does you wrong.' Colossians 3:13 CEV

When divorce shatters your family, how can you help your children? First, stop talking about who doesn't accept them, and surround them with people who do. As a parent your love can go a long way towards compensating for another's neglect. Explain that sometimes people grow together, other times they grow apart. Remind them that 'Ken' and 'Barbie' are just dolls, and prepare them to live in the real world. Encourage them to be strong, not self-pitying. As they get older teach them that if they meet someone they have to 'change' in order to 'love', they haven't met the right one.

When love is right it can live with strengths and weaknesses under the same roof, because 'love covers over a multitude of sins' (1 Peter 4:8 NIV ). Real love covers a mistake like an insurance policy covers a driver in an accident. Don't use your child as a weapon to get back at one another. Be sure they understand that you are the one who got divorced, not them. Explain that someone can be unsuited as a companion but still be a good parent. When you take away the blame, you take away the shame and everybody can move forward. Bitterness is a thief, but you don't have to let it steal your peace, your creativity, your song or your hope for a better future.

Remember, that was then - this is now. There must be a 'now' for you and your children, so let it begin today. God's promise is: 'I am about to do something new' (Isaiah 43:19 NLT). So you can start over and rebuild.

Soulfood: Judg 12-15 Matt 17:14-27 Ps 119:81-88 Pro 17:27-28,

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Always be honest



'Don't lie to each other.' Colossians 3:9 NLT

Try to answer the following questions honestly. Would you lie in order to get yourself out of a jam? Impress someone? Avoid dealing with the consequences of your actions? Well, how did you do? In a major survey in the USA people were asked, 'What would you be willing to do for $10 million?' (Are you sitting down?) Twenty-five per cent said they'd be willing to abandon their families. Twenty-three per cent said they'd be willing to become a prostitute for a week. And seven per cent said they'd be willing to murder a stranger. Are you shocked?

Maybe you're thinking that you'd never do that. Well, don't be so quick - the survey showed that Christians were 'almost as likely as non-Christians' to falsify their tax returns, call in sick when they weren't, cheat on their mates, and tear down someone else's character to make themselves look better. Think about it - have you done any of those things lately? If you have, read these words carefully and prayerfully: 'Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him' (Colossians 3:9-10 NLT).

Pay particular attention to the words 'put on your new nature'. Honesty is a garment you have to put on every day. So start modelling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God. Think the truth. Face the truth. Love the truth. Pursue the truth. Walk in the truth. From today on make up your mind that you'll always be honest.

Soulfood: Judg 9:34-57 Judg 10 Judg 11:1-40 Matt 17:1-13 Ps 119:73-80 Pro 20:25 Ecc 5:4-6,

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