Monthly Archives: February 2014
Hey everyone, it’s been a while and I miss you all. So I thought I would share something here. Recently I was asked to speak at some place about thankfulness, so I figured I would write some of it down and share here too. So here goes:
We I don’t feel thankful…
Why give thanks? what do we have to give thanks for?
What even is giving thanks?
In my western culture we serve money.
Everything is about getting more money.
Because we want to be happy.
Everyone wants to be happy.
And we think that if we get more stuff,
Just get enough shoes,
Once we have everything we need bought,
Then we will be complete and happy.
Though sadly this is an unending process, we never do finish…
We all know the answer to this questions right:
How much money is enough?
Answer: ‘just a little bit more’
So you see the key to happiness is not found here.
It is not found in these types of complements to our lives.
Here I will attempt to reveal to you a huge key in the pursuit of happiness,
Spoken by an ancient wise man, Paul of Tarsus, long ago:
“In all things, give thanks”
That is it people. Read it again if you have to. Perhaps three times. There is treasure to be found here.
So lets delve in. For we must examine this a little more closely.
Remember the first questions? Let us seek some answers.
We need to find ourselves some methods of thanksgiving if we are at all to be successful in this endeavour.
We will be looking at this through three tenses, past, present and future. Let us begin.
Spend a minute or two. Stop right now, and think of a few of the good things that have happened to you in your life. All the gifts you have ever received. Your education. Your family. That great dinner last Christmas. Your favourite red shirt. The way your son holds your hand as you walk about. That accident you narrowly avoided. Your best friend.
There is many things when you get specific about it.
Having trouble with thinking of some things? are you still not that thankful?
Pick one of them then, I’m sure you can think of at least one. Just think about it for a few moments. Thankfulness will not come for you just reading this, you have to actually do this exercise. So do it, stop reading now!
Ok I hope a few minutes have past, since the point is not to just read another blog post, but to grow thankfulness in your heart, which requires some effort on your part.
So now what then if that event you though of never happened? What if it was gone, and you never received that blessing?
Then as you thinking about that memory.. imagine right at the time your good things was about to happen.. it didn’t happen. Wow I bet you are even glad that something bad didn’t happen.. or even ‘thankful’ that that small thing went well.
Ok onto the next step.
Lets look to the cross. It should have been us up there. We know this. The sinner is the one who has to pay for what he does.
But Jesus went there, suffered that, instead of us. It was my punishment. Because of what I did, He bore that pain.
But now feel that pain in your hands, as the nail point is pressed there. Watch in fear as the hammer raises, descends, passes through your flesh, shatter bone and tendon on its unstoppable path through your flesh into the cross you lie collapsed upon.
Oh man. I am so thankful I don’t and didn’t have to go through that!
Now imagine those spike going through your feet. Oh man, I really really don’t want steel rods to be driven through my legs. When I even begin to think of what that must have been like I am overwhelmed… and mighty thankful to say the least.
Now let us not be too quick in all this to forget one thing. To enhance the point even more. The physical pain Jesus suffered for us was only part of the pain.
The main work, the true punishment He removed from us, was the wrath of the almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth. The wrath of the infinite uncreated one.
This price, this pain, this horror, is one far too high for us to pay, or even to begin to comprehend. Dwell there a moment. Feel that thankfulness.
Repeat the above exercise for 1 minute. Remembering all the things you have in your present right now. That you can see, and most likely you can hear and walk as well.. chances are that you are breathing by yourself, not hooked up-to some machine in hospital. Wonderful!! There must be so many good thing in your life right now if you would but take a second to slow down and observe them.
Give thanks from a grateful heart! Not just empty words, allow thankfulness to swell up in your heart.
Now, what about the things you don’t even notice?
Surely God is doing more than just the things you know about.
Now, before we move onto the last stage of looking to the future, lets bring this all home and get some balance.
Let us hear some words again from that wise man Paul, written to his friends, who were worried about him because he just got thrown into jail.
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
How does Paul sound? He’s sitting in jail right now. Sad? Worried? What is his focus? Paul is saying, that ‘hey, even if in situations that look bad, God can use for his glory!’ Woah..
His focus is not on his earthly situation, but his eyes are fixed directly on the Lord. Seeing all from His great perspective.
All things God can use for Good. Learn this. Remember this. In fact, nothing, no circumstance, no situation, no evil, can stop His plans or stand in the way of His victory.
Genesis 50:20 says: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
How amazing is that? This is because in fact He is sovereign over all things. At all times.
In all things He can bring good out of, remember Romans 8:28?
This is how we can rejoice at all times and in everything give thanks. (1 Thess 5:16-18)
The questions just is, what is the place we live out of? Where is our focus? By whose perspective are we looking from? and do we truly believe that?
Who knows, lets move on.
This brings us to the last part, and that is: hope. Oh what glorious hope!
When we live in eternity now, what joy it brings. What freedom. What ability to always give thanks!
Eternity does not start when you die. No my friends, it starts when the Eternal One enters your heart.
When you can say ‘to die is gain’, because that would bring me closer to Him! (Phil 1:21)
See life from this eternal perspective!
If fact, none of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Rom 8:38 Msg)
In all things we can give thanks, and be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33)
That we may have some suffering now in our bodies, some troubles, but death where is your sting? (1 Cor 15:55) Death has been defeated, and all things Christ will use for His good.
So give thanks! Even when it’s tough, even when you don’t feel like it, and especially when you do.
Our God is unstoppable and He has a good plan. Trust Him. Look to Him, and behold, He is coming quickly.
I received a call from work on Saturday saying I need to leave for nepalgunj on Monday. I get to work on Monday and I learn that we’ve got quite a bit of travelling to do. I had no problem with that. Later I learned that we are headed to bardiya on the same day. We reach nepalgunj at around 5pm, we then head to Gullariya. It was getting dark and the whole journey was bumpy but I was enjoying every bit of it. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the wonderful works of God. At the same time I couldn’t help but wonder if all the people back here really knew Jesus at all- the chances I thought was very little. So I was asking God the entire journey, what was the reason behind me being here besides work, what was I being used for really because I know that God doesn’t let a single experience of ours go to waste and then I remembered Luke 10:2 (NIV) “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” And then I really began praying and asking God what this was really about and what is it that he wants me to do, all I cared about was to give him my undivided attention and during the whole journey I felt like as though time was running out and there was just a lot thats needed to be done.
The training for conflict affected women began the next day, it was an interesting day where one lady sang a song about the hurt of a missing family member and all of a sudden a couple of women started crying. It was such a heavy moment, room full of broken, empty, hurtful and hopeful hearts and I just felt so helpless at that moment. Nothing made sense to me for a while, we talk about rights and laws and empowerment and what not and we give it our best we try our best to find justice find the answers but all the efforts go to waste when the answer, help and healing is just a prayer and belief away! There’s truly much to be done.
We were to head to another district on (5th feb) Wednesday, so right before lunch I suddenly had a gastritis attack, the pain was so bad and at a time when we were about to leave. As I was waiting for lunch, there was an old lady who was next to me and was talking about losing her two sons to conflict, as much as I wanted to really listen to her I just couldn’t because the pain I was going through was way overhead. Then a table was free so we shifted there to have lunch, at that moment I couldn’t do anything so I just closed my eyes with my hands around my stomach and started praying. When I had finished the food was already served and the elderly lady had also just finished bowing her head and our eyes happened to meet and she said ‘ma biswasi ho tai bhayera khanu bhanda agadi prathana gareko’ and I wasn’t sure what she meant so I asked her ‘biswasi bhanda kheri?’ and she replied ‘christian’ then all of a sudden there was like firecrackers in my heart I was so thrilled!!! So I said ‘ma pani biswasi ho’ and then we just were like best of buddies after that. Lol. I asked her how she found Jesus and she said she was in surkhet when she was trying to get some justice for the loss of her two sons and how she met a pastor and how he shared the good news with her and while she was saying this her voice was cracking and she was almost in tears. She also went onto explain how she was abandoned by her family members for being a Christian and as sad as it was, I told her God is enough for us, he’s going to take care of you and she knew that as well… the whole experience just suddenly made sense to me I was like ‘NOW WE’RE TALKING’ haha… and she was telling me how there are a couple of churches in the area and she’s also giving out her space for fellowship back in her village, it was just amazing. Before I knew it my extreme stomache pain was gone, I was just overjoyed, I really didn’t care if my colleagues were listening to my extra excited conversation. After we were done with food it was time for us to leave for Kanchanpur, so I bid her farewell and what the ‘ama’ said was just so sweet and it just made me feel happier. It may sound cheesy to many but here’s what she said- if we don’t meet again in this life, we are sure going to meet in heaven. And I was like oh yes definitely. We left with smiles on our faces.
On our way to kanchanpur, we got a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere, had to wait until another car picked us up, back at the hotel now- total ‘culture’ shock happening here, from a small hotel in gullariya to this massive clean expensive hotel with AC and what not… down with mild migrane but as I type these words… I am full of smiles. God is for real.