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Monthly Archives: January 2012

You are a gift to the world

Have you ever considered your distinctiveness? There is only one you. You are the sole human being carrying the traits, qualities and character that you do.

Why did God do that? Why did God create each life to be so specific, so exact, so individual?

I am only just beginning to glimpse something of an answer to this question. I have long believed that God has a good plan for each of our lives and that we should live in a way that brings Him glory. But now He’s starting to teach me that because I am unique, there are unique purposes for me to fulfill.

I am discovering that dreams and visions (in the goal sense) can and should be God-given. I think He desires to place in each of our hearts a dream – or, most likely, many dreams – in order to help us fulfill the purposes he has for our lives. He is the one who inspires us to dream. He is the dream giver.

In John 17:4 Jesus says to his Father, “I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do,” and in John 9:4 he says, “All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me.” Surely this applies to each of us? It’s about purposeful, intentional living.

This beautiful song (lyrics and recording below) by Steven Curtis Chapman – off his latest album re.creation – is a lovely reminder of how special each one of us is to God. You and I are His unique gifts to the world, so let’s purpose to “carry out the tasks assigned to us” by our loving, heavenly Father.

And don’t forget… you are here on earth by design. Even before you were born, every day of your life was recorded in God’s book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (Psalm 139).

Meant to Be (Psalm 139: 13 – 16)

Long before you drew your first breath

A dream was coming true

God wanted to give a gift to the world

So He wrapped it up in you

Every step that you’ve taken

Every move that you make

Is part of His plan

You were meant to be touching the lives that you touch

And meant to be here making this world so much more

Than it would be without you in it

You were meant to be bringing the gifts that you bring

And singing the songs you’ve been given to sing

You are perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully meant to be

You were meant to be

Long before you took your first fall

And stumbled to the ground

God started telling the story of you

To the angels gathered around

Every failure and victory

And everything in-between

It’s all in His hands

You are, you are, you are meant to be

You are, you are, you are meant to be

For every breath that you’re taking

And every move that you make

It’s a meaningful life you’ve been given

So live it well

(Thanks to BigIdea.com for posting the song on YouTube)
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Are you a peacemaker?

Would you consider yourself a peacemaker? Do you actively “seek peace and pursue it” as the Bible advises in Psalm 34:14 and 1 Peter 3:11? Living “at peace with everyone” (Rom 12:18) is not the easy route, especially if you find yourself in a work or home situation where conflict is the norm. But if we make this a priority in our lives, and consciously strive to be at peace with everyone we come into contact with, we will change the atmosphere around us. How awesome to be able to positively impact the atmosphere in which we are living!

I believe it starts with experiencing that peace in our own hearts. Here are a few suggestions on living in that peace. First, regularly ask God to fill you with His peace “which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7), and to help you pursue and run after peace. Second, try to avoid situations that steal your peace. If you’re beginning to feel worked up, walk away. If you’re unable to do that, take a quick break to pray for help and grace in the situation. And last, pay attention to your internal levels of peace. For example, if you’ve made a decision about something but feel yourself losing your peace over it, go back to the drawing board and reconsider. Allowing you to experience a loss of peace could be God’s way of directing you and protecting you from making a wrong decision.

Be a peace-maker and a peace-pursuer, and you will be blessed.

Swallows on the Stoep

Have you ever had a pair of swallows living and nesting on your stoep or at your front door? They chitter away like constantly-busy, old-fashioned fax machines, interspersing their confidential chatter with long, slow, high-pitched whistles. It makes your heart leap to hear it!

Even after the swallows have migrated to warmer climes, the stoep continues to be a place of conversation. A place of sharing. A place for thoughtfulness. A place where we can drink in the sunset, ponder the day, and praise God for the beauty and goodness He gives us.

And in the spring, the swallows will be back.

(PS: ‘Stoep’ is an Afrikaans word meaning patio or verandah.)