The mystery of The “Sand” Revealed…..!


You might be wondering what “sand” I am referring to! And no, this post is not about sand. Instead the sand I am referring to is the sand Naaman took with him……It had a lot of significance as I am about to show you.
With that said I would like to share one of my favorite bible characters with you. As I have already said, his name is Naaman. (2 Kings 1)
He was the commander of the army of the king of Syria.
The bible says he was a mighty man of valor but he was a leper.
This is not why he is one of my favorite characters. He is one of my favorite because he had an encounter with God which changed the direction of his life forever. God used Elisha to heal him of his leprosy.

When he experienced the power of God he made a decision to follow Him. He then makes a weird request to the man of God Elisha. He asks him for ‘two mules’ burden of earth!!! (2 Kings 5:17)
This is what he says,
For your servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offerings nor sacrifice to other gods, but only to the Lord.
In this thing may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master [the king] goes into the house of [his god] Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant in this thing. (2 Kings 5:17,18)

Naaman made a decision and he was committed to that decision and nothing was going to change that. The “sand” signified a change. It signified a change of heart. He chose God and he was not turning back! I get so challenged when I read his story. As I have made a decision to follow God I ask myself, am I as determined as Naaman? Am I committed and focused as him?
Are you as determined and focused and set as Naaman? He was an alien but when he saw God’s power he made a decision. He was probably more committed than most people in Israel at that time.

In this day and age we need to have the same determination and commitment. We cannot serve God halfheartedly!!! It’s either God or something else. Let us be like Naaman and make a wholehearted decision to serve God with everything within us!!!

Rolain

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The Power of Giving…….


There is power when we give. The thought of the day is taken from Proverbs 11:24 which says,

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.  (Message)

Does your world seem small? Do you want it to be bigger? Then give! What a beautiful picture this verse creates. As we give our world becomes larger and larger. This was a revelation for me. I have not been consistent in my giving this year. At the start of the year I made a decision to give differently. I wanted to stretch myself every time I gave but I have been very inconsistent. When I read the scripture I just shared I got challenged. I saw giving in a new light. As I give my money, time, energy, resources, love, patience, attention and so on my world is growing larger and larger but as I withhold those things my world is getting smaller and smaller!!!

I don’t want my world to grow smaller instead it should be getting larger and larger!!! I declare it is growing larger and larger!!! Is yours? No wonder the word of God says, “I am more blessed when I give than when I receive”    Acts 20:35

The choice is yours. What is it going to be??

Rolain.

 

From Ugly to Beautiful…


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We all have made some really bad decisions and I guess the question is can the situation be redeemed?  Can the wrong we have done be reversed? This has been the question on my heart of late. I have made mistakes and in the back of my mind I have been thinking if my situation is reversible? Does God punish me because I have made some serious mistakes as a way of making me learn? I know there are consequences to sin but that is not what I am talking about. I understand there is consequence to sin but what I was battling with was if God gets back at people for the stupid mistakes they make? Does He make sure He makes me know that things are not going right in my life because I messed up last week???

Anyway as I have pondering this I came across a quote that made me think. The quote said,

 

The most beautiful pieces of art come from the ugliest situations.

 

I battled with this and asked God what it meant. Does God really work like that I asked? It was hard to accept. Surely the God I serve is going to make me pay for the stupid mistakes I have made!! How could He not…….?

 

As I was pondering this God spoke to me through King David. He made a serious mistake. He slept with Bathsheba and killed her husband Uriah!! He was in a really bad place. Could God turn his situation around? But he did. A seemingly bad situation was turned around for good. Bathsheba lost her first baby and that would of being enough for David but God turned the situation around by giving him Solomon!!!

(Read 2 Samuel 11 for whole story)

God didn’t give him Solomon through Abigail (1 Samuel 25) who was an absolutely amazing woman; instead He used a really bad situation and turned it into something beautiful. And that is why I think He did that. He wanted to show David that He has the power to turn something really ugly, something we think can’t be redeemed and something we think we have lost and turn it around into something so beautiful and amazing!!!

 

After reading that I had hope, my faith was strengthened and still is. You may have made some really bad mistakes that you think are beyond repair but know that God can turn them around for good.

What I do find as a constant challenge is trusting God. It has been hard relying on Him. It is a constant battle trusting God. I thought it would be easy but it has been hard. I would think I was stronger than that but I was wrong. The negative thoughts have been hard to fend off but I hang on to the word God has given me with everything within me.

You will need to fight to trust God. It is not easy especially when your circumstances are saying the complete opposite. But hold on to God with everything you have got. He is the God that turns the ugliest of situations into the most beautiful of situations. And I believe that with all of my heart even if my emotions are saying something else. My trust is in God. Yours should be too…..

 

Rolain.

Is Doing Something Great For God the Most Important Thing?


Solomon was the wisest, richest, most prosperous man that ever lived! He was the son of one of the greatest kings that ever lived. What a resume!! God had amazing plans for Solomon no doubt.
But somewhere down the line he missed it. There is a very important lesson to learn from his life.
Solomon had it in his heart to finish off the temple his father David wanted to build for God. But as Solomon was building God says something pretty profound to him. It could of been a warning. Whatever it was it was profound. This is what God told him:

The word of God came to Solomon saying, “About this Temple you are building – what’s important is that you live the way I’ve set out for you and do what I tell you, following my instructions carefully and obediently.
Then I’ll complete in you the promise I made to David your father. I’ll personally take up my residence among the Israelite’s – I won’t desert my people Israel.”  1 Kings 11-13

Wow right!! Could it have been possible that Solomon thought building the Temple would bring him closer to God??? Did He think God would love him more because of what he was building??? Did he think God would be even more pleased with him because of this “great work” he was doing because it was great!!!????

How many of us are like that. We rely on our works and think that’s enough but it’s not. Your destiny is not determined upon how much you do. It is determined on your obedience to living according to God’s word. So for example, you may travel around the world meeting the needs of orphans. That doesn’t mean God is more pleased with you than with the person who followed the call of God to serve in his local church to be a kids minister!!! Being a pastor doesn’t mean God loves you more than a young person who serves in his youth group!!! What matters is if you are following the path God has laid out for you and if you are listening to Him!!!

And this is what I think God was trying to tell Solomon. Let us determine to be people who do what God tells us to do and who follow the path God has laid out for us.

Rolain.

Do You Really Want To Get Well???


A lot of us know the story of the man who waited by the pool called Bethesda to be healed. He had a lingering disorder for 38 years!!! Apparently there was a story going around that a long time ago an angel stirred the pool and the first person to get in when it stirred would get healed! You can read the whole story in John 5:1-9.

But there are two main things I would like to highlight that stand out in this story.

1. This man had been sick for 38 years!!!! No wonder Jesus asked him if he really wanted to get well! As I thought about his situation I realized we are like that at times. We have been battling things for so long it’s crazy. I have no right to criticize the man because I realized I am in the same boat. There are some things I have been struggling with for ages….. There is a way of life that I have become used to that is not what Christ has planned for me. Are you in the same situation? Is there a mindset that is stopping you from progressing that you have had for years, or a habit you just can’t break??? What excuses have you memorized for people who would stop and ask? When Jesus approached him and asked him what was going on the man gave Jesus a reason. It sounded rehearsed. Listen to it:

The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me.   John 5:7

That’s it!!!! After 38 years that’s all he had to say!! Wow! That’s what I was thinking but I realized we have excuses that we have come to believe. They sound like this:

I don’t have this because I grew up like…..
I am never going to amount to anything because…….
People don’t like me because…..

The list goes on and on but we have these excuses. Not anymore. The excuses need to stop. They are stopping our growth. They are stealing our life and we don’t even know it. We are supposed to be enjoying life but we are burdened and weak and sick. The enemy has lied to us as well as our bad decisions!!!

2.This is the second thing that stands out in this story. There is hope for us. This man with all his wrong thinking and excuses received grace and mercy from God!!! Jesus didn’t leave him in his mess. Instead he helped him!!!! He healed him. This is how the man put it,

He answered them, The Man who healed me and gave me back my strength, He Himself said to me, Pick up your bed and walk! John 5:11

I like that. Jesus is the one who heals us and gives us back our strength!!! Do you believe that?? No matter how long you have been in your situation know that God is for you. He doesn’t want you to stay where you are. He is patient and merciful and kind and gracious. I hope that makes sense!!!

What excuses have you been making?? There are excuses I have been holding on to that need to go. I am tired of going round the same mountain. I am tired of fighting the same battles. It’s time for change. What do you want? God can do the same thing for you. Will you look to Him, will you trust Him??

Rolain.

How To Be Established…..


Thought of the Day!!!

Truthful lips shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is [credited] but for a moment. 

Proverbs 12:19

 

What is this verse speaking about? It is speaking about the power of the truth and the deceitfulness of lies. Lies seem or appear safe but they really not. Truthful lips will establish us forever! Not for the time we are on earth but forever!! When you speak the truth you are not the only one being established but it’s your family for generations to come. A generation that is hungry for God and that can make a  difference is birthed from a man or woman who speaks the truth, a person who values truth and loves the truth. 
You cannot build a godly generation on lies…. I am sorry but that is just not possible!! It is only when you speak the truth that you establish yourself and not just for a moment but forever!!!
Will you make a decision to be a man or woman who speaks the truth no matter how hard it is or will you be comfortable with living with lies???

Rolain

The Key to Keeping Your Life….


There is so much power in our words but do we believe that? We are so cavalier with our words at times but is that really scriptural? We think it’s OK to speak negative at times but is that what God wants from us? No it’s not! The wise man doesn’t just read the word, he applies it. He looks at various ways at how the word can be applicable and does it. What I am trying to get at is this, you have power in the words that you speak. I will be bold is saying that it is not okay to speak negative some of the time!!!  Its not scriptural!! The word is full of guidance on how we are to speak. There is a time to be firm, there is a time to shout, there is a time to be angry, there is a time to say whats on your mind but we are not called to speak negatively!! Things may be hard and difficult and it’s OK to acknowledge that but don’t stay there. The last word is what matters!! I can say that I am in a mess but I can’t stop there, I need to stop at the answer, God!! We are not called to be negative and our words have power. God wants us to be very careful about what comes out of our mouth.
Your breakthrough in any situation is linked to the words you speak!! What are you speaking??
Let us look at some scripture to back up what I was saying about God not wanting us to speak negatively.

From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hands shall come back to him [as a harvest].
Proverbs 12:14

A good man eats good from the fruit of his mouth, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
Proverbs13:2

He who guards his mouth keeps keeps his life, but he who opens  wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 13:3

You have the power of life and death in your mouth. You cannot afford to speak negatively. God does not want you to speak negatively. Will you listen to Him?
I like the last chapter I shared. He who guards his mouth guards his life!! He who doesn’t will come to ruin!!! Its that clear….
God is calling you to guard your life and it happens when you determine not to speak negatively!!! Bad things happen and it’s OK to acknowledge those things but don’t let them influence the way you speak!!
Watch your words, guard your life.

Rolain.

Get Rid of That Mask!!!!



-How are you doing today John?
I went to the doctor today and found out I have Aids and to make things worse I lost my job. Please pray for me because I have come to the end of my rope. I have been contemplating suicide!

How you today Susan?
– I am fine.
Are you sure? I heard you lost your Dad.
– It’s nothing really I am doing great.
Are you sure you OK?
– For sure. I am OK.

How many of us have conversations are open like John? The second example is where most people are at. We don’t know how to be transparent. We have masted the ancient language of Christianese!!!
We may be going through hell but we have learned to hide our feelings. I am guilty of this as well. How many times I have said I am doing fine when something is clearly wrong!! But this is the thing, to grow and mature in the Lord we need to learn to take off the various masks we have. We need to stop hiding behind the masks and start being real. I am reading a book about the danger of mask wearing. I would like to share a few things that have really challenged me. As Christians we need to model transparency. We need to be real.  The world needs people who are real and not people who are wearing masks. Lets get going.

I am going to start with types of mask we wear. I thought this list was very interesting and identified a few I had been wearing.

Types of Masks.
– I’m better than most
– I’m very together
– I don’t really care
– I am self sufficient
– I’m very important
– I’m competent enough to be loved
– I’m competent enough not to need love
– I have the answers
– I’m independent
– I am cool

* As you can see, there are a lot of masks to chose from. Which mask could you identify with? I saw three masks that I constantly wear but I realise they need to go.
This is the high cost of wearing a mask.

-It is very expensive to wear a mask. For one thing, no-one – not even those I love – ever gets to see my face. There are moments when the real me bleeds through, but mostly I just confuse them. Worse yet, I never experience the love of others because when I wear a mask, only my mask receives love! I sense I’m still not loved and self-diagnose that maybe my mask wasn’t good or tight enough. So I delve even more desperately into mask wearing, convinced maybe the next one will present what you want and prove I’m worthy to receive your love. And if that’s not painful enough, get this. I cannot give love from behind a mask, at least not love from the real me. Mask wearing thwarts our maturing, the very path into the dreams God intended for us.

* That was a lot to take in but I really believe you needed that. We put on masks to hide the real person inside. We think that people will reject the real us so we hide. We become shallow and we don’t mature. As children of God we are called to be transparent. It is very hard to wear a mask when you are open. Let me share something else….

– Sadly, cruelly, our masks deceive us into believing that we can hide our true selves. Not so. In time, others can usually see what we’re trying to hide. No matter how beautifully formed, our masks eventually present us as tragic figures….because masks always crack or distort or buckle or unravel or wear through or lose shape.

*Let me help you with something. Get it in your head that you are not perfect. You are human and you have flaws. When this truth sinks in, you will have no reason to hide. You won’t have a reason to wear a mask. The book goes on to say:

– People wear masks for all sorts of reasons. Some of us opt for a mask because we fear we might not be accepted or, worse, that we may be viewed as unworthy of acceptance because we have already proven ourselves unacceptable. Perhaps we wear a mask because we fear that others won’t protect us and might leave us feeling naked and alone. Or we fear that others will protect us, but our protection will come at the price of their control. An example of this is,
Bruce feels threatened when a person in a key relationship doubts his motives or trustworthiness. He instinctively withdraws from that person by putting on an “I don’t really care” mask. Bill dons an “I’m not hurt” mask when he feels insecure and fears being abandoned. John puts on the “I am self-sufficient” mask any time he fears someone’s pity.
You see, mask-wearing is often even more pronounced in Christians.  Ouch! All mask-wearing is a product of pretending something to be true in our lives that our experience denies.

* I am going to stop there. There is so much more I can share but it will be too long and besides, I think you got the jist of what I am speaking about. Let us take off those masks. They are hindering our growth. God has called us to be transparent and real. Will you make a decision to be real? It will take time but it’s worth it

Rolain.

When I Don’t Know The Right Path To Take…..


How many of us are in “situations” but don’t know what to do or don’t know which path to take? That was me a for a couple of days. Its actually almost been a week. I would like to say I was strong and never panicked and everything was OK but it wasn’t.  I was worrying and fretting. A weight came over me and stayed! I was carrying a burden but didn’t know what to do with it. I knew I should trust God but I didn’t. I also knew that I should not worry and be anxious for nothing but I was. I knew it was crazy and something needed to give. There is a promise in Proverbs that I hold on to when I am confused or just unclear about stuff and I would like to share it with you. It has helped me in this turbulent time. I hope it helps you..

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight and understanding.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.                       Proverbs 3:5,6   (Amplified)                

This is a well known passage of scripture but people are only really familiar with verse 5. Verse 6 is what I would like to focus on. There is a promise from God. There are so many things that try to get us to panic and worry and fret but God is saying, if we in those times acknowledge Him and recognize He is in control and if we know He is for us and He has our back, He will direct, make straight, and plain your path. The path you were not sure about will be made clear, things that seemed confusing will become plain and those crooked paths will be made straight! If you want direction in a situation that you confused about and you don’t know which path to take then you need to acknowledge, know and recognize Him!

My situation is much better. It hasn’t all been solved but God is solving it. I am learning to trust Him more and more. As I keep on holding on to the scripture I shared God is bringing more and more wisdom. The path is getting clearer and clearer, straighter and straighter and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. If you are in the same boat then realize that God doesn’t want you to be confused. He wants you to be clear about your life and about where you going. He wants you to bring those situations to Him and leave them with Him and He wants you to trust Him. He is in control. I like the way “The Message” says it:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the One who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!   Proverbs 3:5

Rolain

 

The Craziness of Fear!!!



Fear grips us all at some time. It’s OK to have fear but where the problem lies is in how you respond in your fear. Fear is healthy but it is also destructive. A good example of this is seen in the story of King Saul. He had such promise but because of fear he made some really bad decisions. Let us take a deeper look.

– Because of fear, Saul didn’t wait for Samuel to make the offerings. His soldiers were leaving and because of that he made the offerings. He had no authority even as king to make those offerings.
( 1 Samuel 13:8-10 )

Let us take a look at that for a moment. Saul was in fear and fear if not dealt with will get you focusing on what’s happening on the outside (your circumstances). He saw the soldiers leaving an began to fear. He didn’t look to God and because of that he lost what God had given him! Fear will do that. It will get you focusing on your circumstances instead of trusting in God.

We tend to do that a lot. If things don’t go the way we think they should we take matters into our own hands. But it’s sin. I constantly battle with this. I need to constantly remind myself that God is in control, I need to constantly remind myself to not fear and then there are days when I fail!!!

The kind of faith we should have is like Jonathan. He trusted God no matter how impossible the situation seemed! He might of feared, I don’t know for sure but he still stepped out! And because he stepped out God used him mightily! That is the kind of faith I want.

As I end off I would like you to think about fear.
– What have you put off because you were or are fearful??
– Does fear influence a lot of your decision making?
– Are you constantly being moved by what happens around you?
– Could you say you act more like Saul or do you act like Jonathan?

These are questions to help you reflect. If we are to do great things for God then we need to move past our fears and step out in faith. Yes, Gods plans for us scare us at times but let us not stop there, let’s step out in faith!!!!

Rolain