‘even if your riches increase,don't depend on them.’
Great verse that encourages us to re-evaluate everything in
our lives. What do we depend on? What do we really value and why? Our reasoning
will give us a good insight into our characters.
When you think about it, everything tangible can easily be
taken from us. Even our bodies are not guaranteed! Life can change in the blink
of an eye so nothing can be taken for granted. This is why we need to be
grateful for everything we have and if our circumstances change we need to be
able to readjust , reflect and move forwards with confidence.
When it comes to material riches, these can easily disappear.
The boom /bust years are testimony to that! How about richness of character,
richness of belief? Yes, these things are within our control however as we are
human we remain vulnerable. The importance of knowing and trusting both ourselves
and God cannot be over emphasised.
How many seemingly confident people are not so confident on
the inside? Very often we are influenced by another, seemingly stronger person.
The result is, our behaviours and our beliefs can be affected, diminished. Look
at how many intelligent people give up family and career when influenced by a
charismatic leader. We need to be thoroughly grounded and constantly maintain
awareness of our thoughts and feelings..
The need for love is such a basic requirement and if
lacking, can be sought after in the wrong places. This is why it can be so hard
for vulnerable people to elevate themselves and escape the cycle of poverty or
need. Sometimes people have great material wealth but cannot enjoy because they
are around the wrong people.
Once again we see why it is important to love ourselves with
a true love that will boost our confidence, sense of value and self -respect. This
enables us to use our inner strength when facing the world. If the thought of
loss terrifies you, you are clinging too tightly to the things of the world.
Finally, we should know that there is nothing to worry about when God is in
Classic British humour which we can still relate to today! Joyce Grenfell enjoyed great success with her series of Nursery School monologues, originally for radio. She certainly picks up the full flavour of a teacher trying to retain a calm attitude whilst being sorely tried by her young class. If it's not one thing it's the next and children are still children.
We work very much on the positive with children today and some of this comes through however many people still use negative discipline rather than positive encouragement- all too easy as many parents know. Classes are structured very differently allowing children a wider choice of activities geared towards their personal interests. Today's nursery class teachers are frequently challenged by the 'super hero' syndrome rather than good old fashioned cowboys and Indians showing how children need that kind of excitement in their lives. Children have changed and become little adults far more quickly, ultimately though they still require encouragement, praise, discipline and guidance ... after all, they are still only children and cannot know what is best for them. Our job is to be adult and not argue back, treating them with love and respect whilst doing our best to inspire and guide. Parenting is an exceptionally difficult job and we all make mistakes, so do the best you can and never beat yourself up over anything!
‘I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be
content whatever the circumstances. ‘
This verse forms part of a letter written by the Apostle
Paul to the Philippians. It contains one of the greatest lessons and achievements
in life-to be content whatever the circumstances.
This is a pretty tall order and we might be tempted to think
that maybe the Apostle Paul didn’t have too tough a life- wrong! Paul did not
have an easy life and was even thrown into prison because of his faith yet he
always kept his goal in sight, preaching to the jailers upon his release! Most
of us would have been relieved just to walk away.
Contentment comes from within, the ability to accept
everything life throws at you and still give thanks and rejoice in all
circumstances. When we keep our focus on our freedom and not imprisonment we too
have that ability. If you really dislike your job, are having difficult family
relationships or are in debt, always envision richness in your mind’s eye. This
could be a new job, peaceful home or enough money to pay your bills. The thanks you give will help you to feel
better and hold onto the faith that change is coming.
Acceptance of our circumstances helps us to be much happier
than if we grumble and complain. The more you talk or think about things that
seem unfair and upsetting, the more they grow in your mind and it becomes hard
to imagine overcoming and moving forwards.
Try to find good in everything. Example: Two Sunday’s ago my computer screen smashed and
would have cost a great deal to fix. It also required a new battery. Instead of
the huge expense these two items would have incurred, I bought a brand new
laptop. It has 6.5 hours of battery life, Windows 8 and is a joy to use. Later,
I realised that it was an answer to my concerns over the lack of battery &
speed of the computer, so definitely a blessing!
Adverse circumstances usually teach us to practice our faith
in a very direct way. Sometimes we need to test our faith, a bit like servicing
a boiler! If life is easy we do not know how strong our faith is, instead we
coast along and fail to develop to the full.
Contentment is something to practice. If you feel unhappy,
check the cause and see how you can lift your mood. Joy is a great antidote to
fear, anger and every form of upset. Next time life fails to go smoothly, adjust
your perspective and act accordingly.
Many of us are familiar with the old rhyme about Magpies which goes:
One for sorrow Two for joy Three for a girl and four for a boy. Five for silver Six for gold and seven for a story never to be told!
Since childhood I learnt that you are supposed to count the magpies and refer to the rhyme in order to determine your fate. This is fundamentally flawed especially if the magpies are in a busy park! When you stop to consider, the outcomes are pretty bizarre although with the magpies all for all that glitters you are quite likely to find a shiny silver coin in a magpie's nest!
There are so many superstitions and yet for some reason people take them to heart. Personally I have no fear of walking under ladders and with today's stringent health & safety regulations the chances of harm are few. Maybe the instigators of superstition inadvertently started something through the natural process of information sharing. 'Jack walked under a ladder today and a paint can hit him on the head knocking him unconscious.' 'Really? best not walk under any ladders then as it's just asking for trouble!'. This is quite plausible and maybe somebody broke a mirror and their bad luck really did continue for 7 years.
How the magpie rhyme came about I have no idea- might check online later. Clearly the author had quite a lot on his/her mind to do with relationships, families and wealth! Sound familiar? Sometimes it is good to challenge the things we take for granted and despite not believing the rhyme, when I saw a solo magpie in the park, the third time in a week, I remembered the rhyme and stated-'there is no sorrow in my life~ only joy.' What happened next is not surprising however it surprised me because of the timing. I literally finished speaking the last word when a second magpie appeared from nowhere and landed on the grass beside the first. Coincidence? Confirmation of an affirmation~ I believe so. Either way it was an interesting little experience and definitely helps empower self belief and belief in the power of God and the universe.
Ultimately we produce our own luck be it good or bad, therefore superstition has nothing to do with it yet remains a convenient media on which to place blame.
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One of the greatest singers of all time singing about the greatest love - learning to love ourselves!! This song really speaks, so stop and listen to the words. Everything we are we pass on to our children and if we are filled with love our children learn to love.
We need to be aware of our thoughts, words and actions on a daily basis so that we pass love on to those around us. What we give out we are inclined to get back!
How much attention do you pay to your inner child?
We hear so much about child abuse and deprivation yet so often we fail to take proper care of our own inner child. The part of you that is often over-looked whilst you are busy catering for everyone else's needs and looking out for their feelings. So often our inner child remains under nourished as we go about our daily lives. We simply forget all about it.
Children have so much fun during their pre-school years yet it is not long before we impose adult standards upon children in a bid to encourage them to grow and learn. What we do effectively is to streamilne them and in so doing they lose much of their natural creativity. Children start to conform and at the same time their ability to experiment and be creative gradually reduces.
Most people tend to suffer as a result of the system and life becomes far too serious. Later as adults we have work, children, bills etc and lose ourselves in the process.
Stop and consider the things you really want to do in life. How many of your 'enjoyment goals' could you achieve if you made a little time for them? Sometimes life is about planning and at others about letting go. Have fun!! Re-enter the imaginative world of childhood by applying it to your life now. What do you really want? Spend time seeing life as you would really like it to boost your feel good factor and the things you want will ultimately materialise. Of course there is far more information available on this subject to do with the law of attraction.
You need to love yourself which can be quite difficult and some of the techniques may seem strange and awkward. We spend hours looking at ourselves in the mirror for grooming purposes yet have you every thougth to say 'I love you XXX' (your Name)? This is a simple thing and yet it can be extremely difficult. If you haven't done so before, try it and watch all those negative thoughts about yourself rush into your head. The key here is to note them and start to deal with them in order to adjust your personal vision or opinion. We need to address issues to feel good about ourselves and increase self-esteem and happiness.
Your inner child is always with you and really does deserve some positive attention!
Maybe we will spend more time looking at this subject, but this should be enough to get you started!
~Out with the mirrors and the thinking caps!!
one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under
compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.'
This verse clearly states that
giving is decided in the heart and implies that is something achieved by people
who are tuned in to their consciousness… not conscience, as those with a
conscience are more likely to assess how much they can afford to give as opposed
to making giving a part of their everyday lives.
Giving is clearly a very personal
thing and is not just about tithing, ie: dedicating 10% of your money to chosen
causes. People often give because they believe it to be compulsory and this is
reinforced within many churches where congregations are encouraged to dig deep!
Giving is something we do on a daily basis and we can do it cheerfully or
resentfully but always with discretion. There is no point being resentful when
something really needs to be paid for- just pay for it even if you are left
with very little. Miracles are promised when we ask and expect them to happen.
Hoarding money is not beneficial,
especially in the current economic climate! Money needs to be used for the
right purposes and when we give it willingly it comes back to us when needed -one
of the properties of money that is often overlooked and ties in with God’s
promises to us. We were made to be happy therefore we should be happy in
everything we do including the things that worry us initially. The reality is
that there is more than enough of everything in this world, so caring and
sharing are paramount to our mental and spiritual health and happiness.
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Just have to share this performance. Will-I-Am in his element alongside his final 2 contestants Cleo Higgins and Leah McFall. This man has to push himself to the limit- rapping, break-dancing and graffiti all in the one song! As he says. when you want to do something there's always a way!!
'Let doubt be on the shelf and your dreams be on the table,' ~Jessie J
As we are focusing on 'The Voice UK,' today we will look at something Jessie J said to one of her artists last week. It is so easy to make room for our doubts when we should be focusing on our dreams. Doubts should be left on the shelf or shut in the closet as Jessie says. If you write out your dreams you can literally lay them on the table, think them through and plan how to achieve them.
Jessie certainly belongs on this programme and is an extremely hard working women, demanding the best from her team and pushing them to their limits- Good on you Jessie J, all in all a very inspiring woman.
Jaz McKenzie Send us your favourite quote or saying with a few words and picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing catch up today on ~IB~ having had a very unusual week with no blogging time!! So today we will do more than the usual Sunday 'Snapshots from the Bible.'
Kicking off with an 'ON FIRE' performance from Matt Henry- who according to Will-I-Am looks more like his brother than his brother!! Yes we get that! This guy started out as a bundle of energy and has grown steadily week by week. Just love his performance of this contemporary song which definitely affected the hairs on many an arm. Matt is a very soulful singer and always makes an instant connection with his audience. All of the performances were exceptional. Leah McFall is very current proved by her incredible achievement, reaching #3 in the iTunes chart and has the potential to be a huge star. On the other hand, her style of singing is distinctive and she plays heavily with her upper range which is not everyone's cup of tea. I think you love her or hate her!! We must also remember that this programme is watched by a nationwide audience which includes people who never download music. We will just have to wait until next week, after all, the race is never over until its won.
Let's follow this with the clip of Will's team so you can see what we're talking about! Have to say, Cleopatra Higgins is still coming atcha... BIGTIME!! Think we'll blog her performance of 'Don't Let Go,' this week because she killed it! Shame she's now out of the competition but what a great singer.
‘Cast thy burden upon
the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be
This is a particularly poignant verse and one of the most
frequently memorised. It is hard to contemplate the number of burdens that
weigh us down in our lifetimes. So much so, that we would not be able to stand under the weight. YET
despite what happens to us we pick ourselves up and walk tall every time.
Clearly this process is aided when we ask for help with our
burdens. The reassurance of divine intervention helps cease worry and keeps us
in a positive frame of mind.
Many of life’s burdens we actually create ourselves through
attempting to be self contained and handle things our way. A quick word to God
can help us to make good decisions and move forwards in the right direction. We
have free will but that does not mean we are supposed to isolate ourselves from
the source, ie: God. A bulb can give light for a little while when it is
powered by a battery but plugged into the mains, an endless supply of
electricity proves a much more reliable source.
God is always there for us. When we are tuned in we give
thanks through the good times and the bad. When we are not tuned in it is easy
to move far away and become despairing. We were not created to be depressed or
despairing. Just look at the beauty in the world to reassure yourself that we
were made to be happy. Unfortunately through the application of free will we have
created serious disharmony across the globe. This does not mean we have to live
without harmony. Our lives are our sanctuary and we have the power to live as
we choose. God is there to help us once we acknowledge our needs and tune into
the fourth dimension.
Do not see your burdens as burdens. Instead, see them as
challenges because the word challenge implies that you will take action instead
of becoming overwhelmed. Prayer is a good action and allows us to relax and
wait for guidance, which will come. Whatever your current ‘burden’s ‘ may be,
keep them in perspective and always make time for thanks and praise.
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'Love doesn’t take you out of the world,
it enables you to live better in it.' ~ William Penn
The reason I
like this phrase is because of the sense it conveys that no man is an island.
You cannot sit alone in your ivory tower feeling that you understand the world,
love, the universe & everything else. The important thing is to bring that
energy you have into the world and change it for the better, Rather like Christ
saying, ‘by their actions you shall know them.’ I am not saying I am like that
but I hope that one day this is where my energies will direct themselves.
Chris Chambers~ Another Way Theatre
Chris is currently appearing in his companies production of Antony and Cleopatra. Click here to read all about it!! Antony and Cleopatra
Be BRAAP!! Send us your favourite quote or saying with a few
words & photo to : firstname.lastname@example.org
It is so good to see 'Another Way Theatre Company' working away relentlessly to bring more quality productions our way.
Having followed ~IB~ Baby,'Olympus The Musical,' last year it is rewarding to see the company returning to the Minack Theatre with their version of Antony & Cleopatra. For more details you can check out their detailed blog via this direct link: Another Way Theatre Company which brings the progress of the production to life.
For booking details please check out the poster below. The first performances are at the Minack Theatre this week, followed by Queen's Park, Caterham 18-22nd June, same booking site.
If you can go along please do~ a great show not to be missed!
'1 The Lord is my
shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down
in green pastures, He leads me beside
quiet waters, 3 He refreshes my
Probably the best known Psalm and one used frequently at
funerals; yet it is a great resource providing reassurance and encouragement at
all times. Knowing that God cares for us during periods when we may feel
unloved helps reduce the feeling of isolation and this is why it is important
to maintain a spiritual relationship with your creator. Isolation from God can
lead to feelings of isolation in life leaving us with nowhere to turn.
The psalm is written in a very caring way conjuring up
calming, relaxing images aimed at revitalising us, whilst saying
that in reality we will lack nothing because God is looking after us on a 24/7
basis.We can see that there really is
no need for worry yet many of us remain pre-occupied with all sorts of worries,
many of which prove unfounded. Written with a spiritual slant, the advice is good on a
practical level. Taking time out of our day to walk and relax helps improve our
mental state, especially when paired with a little meditation or in-depth study
to increase mental resistance to the negativity we all face. The stronger our
faith and gratitude for all the good in our lives, the better we cope with
events and decision making.
If you reach a point where you are not sure what to give
thanks for, then remember this psalm and be thankful that God cares and
provides for us, then you can go about life with a spring in your step!
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Love the message given here by UK reggae/dancehall artist, Dark Angel Mowty Mahlyka. Life is very much about creating yourself within the system in order to rise above the system. Today Mowty's lyrics will hold international appeal, with people oppressed worldwide within various political and socio-economic systems. You are responsible for yourself and can change your circumstances with love, vision and determination.
Mowty's music is doing well, receiving airplay in both the UK and abroad with Sir David Rodigan tuning in! You can hear more on soundcloud including latest release: My Burdens. Dark Angel Soundcloud