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Thursday, 11 February 2016
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Is God calling? No … I don’t mean on the phone. Although it would give me a great fright if He called me on the phone.
We read in the Bible that God called Moses for a special task. In the case of Paul, God used more drastic measures to attract his attention.
Jesus called Peter to follow Him. And Matthew, and the other disciples.
Over the years God has called many people to do His work. Mother Theresa comes to mind. I’m sure you can think of many more … your pastor for instance.
Is God calling you right now?
Does He have a task for you?
Are you listening?
Saturday, 6 February 2016
Insecurity, shyness, loneliness, not quite fitting in.
All too often one meets people who, for one reason or another, feel that they are left out from what this world has to offer.
They may well be part of a group of friends at work, or at school, college or university, but yet they feel that they don’t quite fit in somehow. They are not the center of attention – the funny one that everyone admires, the intelligent one, or the artistic or athletic one.
They are part of the group alright, but they are on the sidelines. The one who never quite gets noticed!
Such inner loneliness and insecurity can be crushing and can so easily suffocate one’s soul and one’s potential.
Look around you today – is there such a person you recognize? Do the kind thing and include them in your personal world.
True Happiness consists not in the multitude of friends; but in their worth and choice.
MORE REFLECTIONS HERE
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
I must confess I’ve always wanted to be a professional dancer. Just like Fred Astaire or any other dancers you see in the movies and on TV.
The problem is I have big feet. Enormous feet!
When I get on the dance floor there is no room for anyone else because of my big feet. They take over the whole dance area.
And when I dance I tread on other peoples’ feet. If it’s a slow dance with the lights dimmed right down people trip on my feet and fall all over the place. I’ve had to put little flashing yellow lights on my shoes and a bleeping sound so that people can see my feet in the dark.
People say that the lights add to the atmosphere on the dance floor but the bleeping sound interferes with the music.
Someone suggested I take up line dancing. In line dancing people stand next to each other and mostly move sideways; so there’s no danger of stepping on anyone’s toes.
I tried line dancing. My big feet moved so slowly sideways that other dancers tripped over them as they moved left or right.
I tried ballet dancing. When I stood on tip-toe my head hit the ceiling and brought down a few tiles.
At a wedding once I danced the Hokey Cokey (Hokey Pokey). You know the one?
You put your left leg in, your left leg out,
In out in out, you shake it all about,
You do the Hokey Cokey and you turn around
That’s what it’s all about.
It was quite a sight seeing everyone else fall all over the floor whenever I stuck my feet out. At one point my big foot came out so suddenly it hit Aunt Matilda in the face sending her spectacles flying in the air. Everyone stopped to search for her glasses and I inadvertently kicked a few of them to the floor as I continued dancing not realizing what had happened.
The birdie song wasn’t a success either … nor was the conga line dance when they all follow each other across the floor.
So regrettably, Fred Astaire and all other famous dancers will get no competition from me. I’ll just sit on the side lines tapping my feet to the music … and watch everyone else bounce about as I shake the floor boards with my big feet.
Monday, 1 February 2016
You know how sometimes we can be influenced by other people without realising it. Advertising works on that principle. They tell you something subtly and leave it to you to decide. And more often than not we may change our behaviour according to what others tells us.
Many years ago there was an anthropologist who studied all things relating to humanity, society, how people think and what influences them. He was particularly interested in suggestive thoughts whereby someone would behave in a way that has been subconsciously implanted in his mind. For example, a subject he had researched intensively, was putting a curse on someone. If someone puts a curse on somebody, does the effect of this curse come true or not? Is it possible to curse somebody? Or is the victim's behaviour changed to such an extent that he makes whatever fear he has come true?
His studies took this anthropologist to far away countries all over the world and he met various peoples and cultures and beliefs. He researched how some susceptible people can be influenced by others' threats like putting a curse on them.
One day, whilst he was in the jungle, he had heard stories about a river deep in the forest which had golden shrimps breeding on its shores. These shrimps were believed to be made of gold, albeit they were alive and living creatures like other fishes which inhabited that river. Legend has it that one day King Midas himself went by that river and bent down to drink. As he did so his hand touched a shrimp for a split second and turned the shrimp into gold; but the shrimp did not die. It swam away and started breeding a whole generation of golden shrimps only to be found in that river deep in the forest.
Also legend has it that King Midas put a curse on the shrimp and since that day anyone who catches or eats these golden shrimps will also be cursed and will die.
The anthropologist was intrigued that people of the forest believed such a story, and despite there being little food in the village, and people ate mostly plants, no one dared go fishing in the plentiful river in case they caught a shrimp accidentally and died.
In order to convince the villagers that this was only a fable, passed on to people from one generation to the next, with little truth in it, the anthropologist suggested that they accompany him to the river where he will fish for these shrimps. But none dared to go with him. They were all afraid of the curse of the golden shrimp.
Early one morning he left the village accompanied only by his guide and went in search for that river deep in the forest.
When they eventually got there he asked the guide to sit away from the river to appease his fears. The anthropologist then went to the shore and to his surprise found that the river was plentiful with millions of the golden shrimps. There were enough there to feed the villagers for many years and more.
It was such a shame that the villagers' belief in the curse prevented them from eating such a plentiful supply of shrimps and fish.
In order to convince them that all is safe the anthropologist put his hand in the river and picked up a shrimp. He showed it to the guide, and then slowly peeled the shrimp, and ate it.
The guide was petrified with fear. He stood up and shouted, "There is a curse on you! You have eaten a golden shrimp and now you will die!"
He then ran away back to the village to tell everyone what had happened and left the anthropologist all alone. The villagers kept well away from the river from that day onwards regardless of how hungry they were.
And now for the bit which I suspect you will find very hard to believe.
What did happen to the anthropologist? Was he affected by the curse of the golden shrimp?
Well sadly - YES he was. He died last year aged about 89. Apparently he was allergic to shell-fish and the shrimp he ate 60 years previously eventually finished him. The curse had finally killed him.
Saturday, 30 January 2016
Some routes are just vertical walls with tiny crevasses for climbers to fit their hands and feet and pull themselves up to the top. Once at the top, you can walk from one peak to another on this false mountain via rickety bridges made from rope or wooden slippery logs tied together. Alternatively you can slide (abseil) down a vertical smooth wall all the way to the bottom and start again.
Youngsters as well as experienced climbers use this indoor facility to learn and practice before taking up the sport outdoors on real mountains. And it is perfectly safe. Everyone is tied in to elaborate harnesses and ropes which allow you to climb freely, and walk across unsafe bridges freely, yet, should you happen to fall the ropes would hold you and keep you suspended in mid-air until a supervisor pulls you back to safety.
One of the staff explained that it is a unique experience. The climbers know that they are safe because if they lose their grip or footing the ropes and harnesses will take over and save them from a fatal fall. Yet they are subconsciously nervous and fearful that they might fall.
This made me think about our relationship with God. We know He is there and that He loves us and cares for us. So, to that extent at least, we are safe.
Yet, sometimes our doubts and fears take over and play havoc with our Faith – especially when we face difficulties and troubles in our lives. We wonder whether He will help us or not.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14:1 NIV.
Thursday, 28 January 2016
Other creatures do not do that. Do you know why? Because they are too dumb to do anything, that's why. I mean, have you ever seen a parakeet bake a cake? Or a sloth make cans of beans to sell in the supermarket? The sloth just hangs there from a tree and sleeps for up to 18 hours a day waiting for humans to arrive and save him from extinction.
Let's face it, if you're going to sleep for all that long every day then we'd be waiting for eternity to have a sloth making cans of baked beans or cans of anything for that matter.
That's the problem with animals, birds, fishes and all other creatures. They do nothing. They are there just to eat or be eaten. Part of the food chain as I was taught at school.
We humans on the other hand are clever.
We can have children whom we educate and they grow up to have more children whom they educate and as education spreads and we all become experts at one thing or another we discover that there aren't enough jobs for all of us anyway and our education has generally been miss-spent because we are now educated and we know that we cannot use our education to good purpose because there are not enough jobs for all of us anyway because there are too many of us to start with.
Now try saying all that with a mouthfull of marshmallows. I bet you can't. But a parakeet can. Do you know why? Because he is too smart to eat marshmallows.
So there you have it. A quick lesson about humanity.
Whereas human beings multiply ever more and cry out save the planet not realising that it is mankind itself that is ruining the planet; the sloth sleeps for 18 hours a day and the parakeet does not eat marshmallows.
Which leaves one question un-answered.
Whilst the sloth is hanging upside down from a tree asleep for that long; how does he go to the toilet? It must be both uncomfortable and inconvenient to relieve himself whilst asleep.