You Can’t Please Them All (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

You can’t please everyone all of the time

I heard this story the other day and thought I would share it with you.

An older father and his son were heading into town. The father allowed the son to ride on the family donkey. When they arrived in the town, the people said, “Look at that! Insolent youth riding on a donkey and making his father walk like that!”

The next time, they swapped places and the father rode the donkey while the son walked beside. Again the people cried, “Look at that! Irresponsible father riding along while his poor boy walks!”

Another time they went into town while both riding the donkey. This time the people protested, “Look at that! That poor donkey! Having to cary two people on its back!”

The final time they went into the town, both father and son walked beside the donkey. This time the people laughed, saying, “Look at that! Those idiots! They have a donkey and yet they are walking!”

Moral of the story – you can’t please everyone all o the time. That doesn’t give us the right to do what we want or to deliberately displease, but we must ensure we are following God’s commands.

Let us please God with all that we do and say today, even if there are those who moan about us!

You Are What They Need (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

You may not feel like the one they need, but you’re the one they’ve got. And it’s not an accident!

As a parent, I rarely feel like i’m doing a good job of it. Sometimes I see myself reflected in the behaviour or words of my children, and it isn’t always pretty! Being a parent is the best but toughest job there is. I often feel like I do not know what I am doing myself, let alone helping to shape another life and ready them for the world.

The same is true at work sometimes. People come to me asking for help and advice, or looking for a solution to a serious problem. I feel a tremendous pressure to come up with the right answer, even if I haven’t a clue what it is!

Bottom line – I’m only human, and I’m just doing my best. The same is true for you I’m sure!

You may not feel like the right person for the job, whether that is a form of employment, caring responsibility or anything else. Even if you do not feel like the one that is needed right now, you are the only one that is there, and that is no coincidence.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, whatever job, whatever family commitments, you are there for a reason. God has specifically placed you there and you can deal with what is in front of you.

That does not make it easy of course, but draw strength from God to do what you need to do. Take heart in the fact that there are no accidents, and God has chosen you and placed you in your situation to bring Him glory in whatever way you can.

You might believe others are more qualified or better suited, but God chose you. Trust Him to have made the right decision, and do your very best with His help.

Who Are You When No One is Looking? (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

How you act when no one is watching you is who you really are.

How you act and behave when no one is looking says a great deal about your character.

I am a manager at work, and it is very interesting to see how some staff behave when they think you are not watching them.

At one place I used to work, the staff arrived early and the managers not until later. It was surprising how little work was done in those minutes before the managers arrived. Some staff would read the paper while others surfed the web. Others might ask a colleague to clock them in even if they were not ready to start work.

The temptation to cut corners is powerful when no one is watching us. We might think if no one knows, then there’s no harm in doing a slightly less than perfect job.

But God is always present. And for the Christian, we must live before God as if He is always watching… because He is.

We need to do the right thing even when no one is watching us. That’s called character, and who we are when no one is looking should be no different than if we are being carefully observed.

Do you live two distinct lives? The one when someone is present, and the other? If so, I encourage you to remember that God is always with you and sees all that is done in secret. And the person you are when no one is watching is who you really are.

Preach the Gospel (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

Preach the Gospel, and if you have to, use words… let me tell you, you do have to use words!

St Francis is often attributed to having said “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words!” There is much truth in this, and our lives and actions should certainly declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

I am certain however, that St Francis never intended this phrase to become an excuse not to use words.

While our actions do indeed speak louder than words at times, we must all be ready to speak and proclaim the Gospel of Christ clearly when necessary.

When sharing the Gospel with someone, we may only have at most sixty seconds before they move on, decide they are not interested or want to hear more. We should all rehearse and practise that one-minute Gospel presentation. Don’t stumble over the words in the heat of the moment, have them stored away in your memory so that you can call upon them when needed.

Words without action may be ineffective, as we ought to give people a reason to listen. But actions without words to back them up may not give people a clear understanding of what Jesus has done for us all.

God made the world. We broke it. We deserve punishment for this sin. But God loved us and sent His Son to take the punishment for us. He died on a sinner’s cross, but rose to life again after three days. If we accept Him and put Him in charge of our lives, we can enjoy a new relationship with Him.

Let the world see this in your actions, and tell them what Christ has done!

Don’t Wait (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

Don’t wait until you are in trouble to fully seek the Lord – start now!

While times are good, it can be all too easy to forget God. Yet when things start falling apart, He is the first one we turn to.

No one likes to go through troubled times or trials, and when we do, we usually ask “Why would God allow this to happen to me?” There is no easy answer to such a question, but one possibility is to encourage us to seek God more fully.

When you find yourself in a situation you cannot handle alone – a serious health problem, financial difficulties, or the loss of a loved one – you turn to something bigger than yourself, and that is God.

My pearl today recommends you don’t wait until the trouble comes to start seeking God. Start today! Commit yourself to Jesus, and walk with Him closely every day. Spend time in the Bible and in prayer, and make the effort to have a great relationship with Him.

If you do, then there will be no need for the trial that brings you back to God. Even if trouble comes for other reasons, you will be in a much stronger place to face them.

If nothing else, then the COVID-19 crisis has served to bring many people back to God. Praise Him for that GOOD THING COMING OUT OF THIS PANDEMIC.

How is your relationship with Jesus right now? Has it been neglected, or is it stronger than ever?

If you are reading this and you don’t know Jesus personally, then please allow me to introduce you! God made everything, including you and I. He had only one rule, and we broke it introducing something called sin into the world. Sin separated us from God and none of our good deeds can fix it. 

God became a human being who we know as Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life, but humanity executed Him on a cross even though HE was innocent. He was our substitute and took our place and the punishment we deserve. If we put our trust in Him, He will save us from our sin and give us eternal life in heaven.

Three days after His death, Jesus rose to life again. Likewise, you and I can escape death and live again through Him.

To start a relationship with God, all you need do is ask. Talk to Him now, which we call prayer. Ask Him to become your friend and to forgive you of all the wrong things you have done. Ask God to come and live within you, and He will put His Holy Spirit in your heart to guide and help you.

Get yourself a Bible or read it online, it will tell you all about God and how He wants you to live. Find a good local church which teaches the Bible, and join with a group of other believers. They will help and pray for you.

Lastly, please get in touch with me. I’d love to pray for you and celebrate your new relationship with God! Bless you this day and always!

People are a good use of time (PoW)

Pearl of Wisdom

People are a good use of your time

When our lives get really busy, it can be all too easy to start deprioritising other people in our lives.

We are rushing to get the kids to school, bump into a friend we haven’t seen in a while but don’t take the time to stop and talk. You sense they may need a chat or some support, but the onward rush carries you forward. You intend to call them later, but later never comes.

Sometimes we see people as a distraction from what we are trying to achieve. We can get so focused on ourselves that we neglect other people.

People are always a good use of time. No matter how busy we are, don’t see it as a waste of time, but rather see it as an investment.

Time spent helping someone, or meeting a need, or just listening is usually a much more productive thing to do than anything else we had planned.

Be a Good Samaritan, and keep on the look out for people who might be seeking help. We are not on this Earth to serve ourselves, so leave a positive mark by putting someone else first today.

God bless you.

Note: I have not forgotten that I am in the middle of a short series on Psalm 92. I will pick this up again shortly and finish of discussing that beautiful song of praise. Keep a look out for part three soon!

 

It Takes Time (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

If it took years to get your life into a mess, then it may take years to get out of it too

Don’t expect God to fix all of your problems overnight.

Sometimes we come to Christ and expect Him to make all things right in our lives in a matter of days or weeks. However, it may have taken you your entire life to get into the situations you find yourself in, and you cannot ask God to just wave that all away.

If it took 40 years to get into a mess, then it may take just as long to get it straightened out.

Don’t get me wrong, God can and does do miracles, and it is not wrong to ask for them. Often we don’t need a miracle though, we just need discipline.

Take debt or dieting. You can’t over-eat for ten years and expect a week’s worth of dieting to fix it. You can’t max out four credit cards and then expect to pay off your debts in a couple of months. If you’ve overeaten for any length of time, you’ll need to under-eat and exercise to make it right. If you’ve overspent, the same is true. You will need to spend less than you earn for a while to pay it all off.

What do you want to change in your life? Is it a longstanding habit? IF so, it may take time. Give God as much time to undo it as you gave to doing it in the first place.

Whatever you want to change, it may take time, but just take one step after another. If you make good decisions consistently, then sooner or later you will reach your goal.

Be blessed as you live out wisdom in your life.

Catch someone (PoW )

Pearls of Wisdom

Delight in catching someone doing something right

Whether it be a celebrity, a politician, or some other high-profile person, there is often a lot of social media activity trying to catch those doing something wrong. The newspapers post photographers outside of nightclubs and parties trying to catch people in a compromising situation.

For some reason, we often delight in seeing others fail or embarrassing themselves. Perhaps in some way it makes us feel better about ourselves if we know the others trip over sometimes.

Today though, instead of trying to catch someone else out, why not try to catch them doing something good?

There are people doing good all around us all of the time. It only takes a moment to mark that. We have seen many examples of this in the recent period of lockdown. People thanking key workers or medical staff with little acts of random kindness.

Just last night, a friend of mine described how he bought a case of beers which he then left outside for those collecting the bins from his house. Now you might choose to show gratitude in a very different way of course, but the point is made. 

If you see someone doing something good, take a moment to tell them. Thank them. If you are able to give them a little gift or encouragement, then it is a great use of resources.

Instead of trying to catch people out, let’s all try to delight in catching someone doing good!

I think you will find the reward far outweighs the effort it takes.  God bless. 

The First Step (PoW)

If you don’t take the first step, then you will never take the second.

Every journey begins with the first step. It may not sound all that profound, and is actually rather simple. But it is an indisputable truth.

Sometimes we look at our goals or the end of our journey, and recognise how far they are away. As a result, we refuse to take the first step. Understandable that may be, but it is also illogical. Refusing to take the first step will not get us any closer to our aim.

Take, for example, the writing of a book, or training to become a minister in the church. Such things can take a long time to achieve. We will never get there however if we don’t take that first step.

No matter what God has put on your heart to do, you cannot do it until you start. It may take 100 steps, but you cannot avoid taking the first one. Whatever it is you are putting off, put it off no longer. Take a deep breath, roll up those sleeves, and push that foot forward! It may be a tough road ahead, but if God has called you to do it, you will make it!

The first step may be very difficult, but often we find the second step easier than the first.

What are you aiming for? What dreams are on your heart? What is the first step, and can you take it today?

God bless you on your journey, wherever it leads you.

Time or Effort? (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

It’s not the time you put in, but what you put into the time.

Time and effort are not always correlated. Just because we have spent a lot of time on something, does not mean we have put a lot of effort in. The reverse is also true. A lot of effort does not necessarily mean a lot of time.

Prayer is a classic example of this. Just because you’re putting in long hours of praying, does not mean you have spent any quality time with God. In a similar way, you can have a really good relationship with God but have no need to spend hours and hours and hours of lengthy, set aside prayer time. Although praying little and often is the only surefire way of having a good relationship with God.

We tend to spend our time on the things that we care about. And in that sense, our relationship with God should certainly capture the majority of our time. But it is not about the quantity of time with God, but rather the quality.

If you spend a daily prayer time with Jesus, then that’s great and something every Christian should do. But don’t measure that time by its length, measure it by its quality.

 

Put your time into your relationship with Christ. Remember, it’s not about how much time you spend, but about how much you put into that time. May you be extremely blessed in your time with Jesus today and always.

Mercy or Faith? (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

Don’t mistake Gods mercy as a response to your faith

Have you ever had a situation where someone said “God will protect me,” even while walking into a potentially dangerous situation? 

With the ongoing situation with COVID-19, you might have even heard this recently. “I’m carrying on as normal because God will protect me from harm.” They claim that this is faith, but also walks dangerous close to “testing God”. 

The thing is, if the Christian who says such a thing does indeed stay safe, then they feel somehow justified and “proved right.” We must never mistake God’s mercy for a response to our faith. Such a Christian may have been protected by God’s mercy rather than any act of faith on their own part. 

I am not against faith of course, and absolutely you should do what you believe God wants you to. Faith should not replace common sense however. God may sometimes call us into dangerous places, but for most of us, we just need to live wisely. 

Follow Government advice and stay home during the COVID crisis. Don’t test the Lord by putting yourself in harms way. This is ultimately being selfish and not thinking about how your choices may affect others. 

Thank God for His mercy!

Yesterday ended last night (PoW#25)

Pearl of Wisdom #25

Yesterday ended last night.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like much of nugget of wisdom. In fact, it’s rather obvious!

But look again…

Whatever successes you had yesterday, whatever you achieved, those things are done and there is a new day in front of you. We cannot live off of yesterday’s successes. We must make the most of everyday.

Similarly, whatever failures you had yesterday, they are in the past also. Don’t live with the regret of yesterday, but push on to what’s ahead.

Each of us has no more and no less than the day that is in front of us. We will only get one shot at it, so let’s make the most of it. We all have a limited number of them, and sadly none of us know what that number is. All we can do is our best each day.

What can you do to make today the very best you can?