STOCK-TAKENEW YEAR provides an excellent break for spiritual stock-taking and life audit. Today I addressed these questions to myself. I’m deliberately using a ten-year time span to measure progress or failure.
Compared to what I was, what I had and what I did,
1. Have I grown more Christ-like in my character? Have I enjoyed His company daily?
2. Have I clearly marked my priorities and to what extent have I fulfilled these?
3. In what ways have I grown in my understanding of His Word and His ways?
4. Has my preaching and conducting training workshops impacted and transformed lives?
5. What fruit have I seen in the lives of those I mentored?
6. Have I achieved “up turns” and breakthrough with those I find challenging to relate and work with?
7. What dreams have I fulfilled especially in the fields of writing and net-working?
8. What miracles and mighty works have I seen and experienced in my ministry? Conversions?
9. Identify issues that I’ve been wrestling with Him. What were my losses/gains?
10. Have I been a kinder husband/father/grandfather?
11. Have I pro-actively blessed those who are close to me and to prebelievers?
I listed specific names, events and numbers to the above questions.
Why not try to answer them yourself?
I noted that since stepping down as Sr Pastor in November 2008, the overwhelming administrative responsibilities were considerably lessened, and this gave more time to reflect, to study the Word, write and editing (Notes and Quotes = measurable feat!) I wrote my wife’s life story and two booklets. I learnt to make time for my wife and all our three sons and their families. I’m deeply humbled by the visible transformation of folks I led to Christ and those I mentor and encourage. During the past nine years, at least 10 couples I specifically prayed for were blessed with children. God loves to amaze and surprise us! I’m grateful that He is opening doors for me to share and impart gifts to individuals, families and local churches.
NEW PRESIDENT OF ANC SOUTH AFRICA
At the beginning December 2017, I found myself praying fervently for Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected as the new President of the ANC in South Africa. He is regarded as the candidate who will attempt to stamp out corruption in his country. I remember meeting Cyril in 1976 when he was a student leader and a fugitive of the apartheid government. Cyril had benefited from the courses conducted by one of my senior colleague’s Dr Hans Burki. Values such as justice, integrity, love for God and His Word, working alongside people were instilled into Cyril and other black South African Christian students. Cyril was duly elected. Hopefully, he will the next President of South Africa. And I am so grateful to God that he has blessed the Gospel seed planted 40+ years ago .
God has no IPhone, but I talk to Him. He has no Face Book and He’s still my Friend. He does not have Twitter but I still follow Him.
As long as you are green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above;
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.
BE WARNED! ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race….
It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate.
Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.
THOSE WHOM GOD HONOUR
God couldn’t care less about protocol. If He did, Jesus would have chosen the Pharisees as His disciples. But that isn’t who Jesus honoured. Jesus honoured the prostitute who gate-crashed a party in the home of a Pharisee in order to anoint His feet. Jesus honoured the tax collector who climbed up a tree in his three-piece suit just to catch a glimpse of Him. Jesus honoured the four friends who cut in line and cut a hole in someone’s ceiling to help their friend. In His parable, Jesus honoured the woman who drove a judge crazy because she wouldn’t stop knocking.
The common denominator in each of these stories is holy desperation, People took desperate measures to get close to God and He honoured them for it. Nothing has changed. God is still honouring spiritual desperadoes who crash parties and climb trees. God is still honouring those who defy protocol with their bold prayers. He is still honouring those who pray with audacity and tenacity. And the persistent widow is selected as the gold standard when it comes to praying hard. Her unrelenting persistence was the only difference between justice and injustice.
JORDAN RIVER AT FLOOD TIDE
At flood tide, the Jordan River was about a mile wide. That was all that separated the Israelites from their four-hundred-year-old promise. Their dream was a stone throw away. Bu what if the priests hadn’t step into the river? What if they had waited for God to part the Jordan River? They may well have spent the rest of their lives on the eastern banks of the River Jordan. And that’s where many of us spend our lives. We’re so close to a dream, so close to the promise, so close to the miracle, but we aren’t willing to get our feel wet.
Many people never see God part the Jordan River in their lives because their feet are firmly placed on dry ground. We’re waiting for God to make a move while God is waiting for us to make a move. We say to God, “Why don’t you part this river?” And God says to us, “Why don’t you get your feet wet?” But if you make a move, you’ll see God move. He can move heaven and earth.
Peter is the patron saint of wet feet. He may have failed the persistence test by falling asleep in Gethsemane, but he passed the we-feet test by getting out of the boat in the middle of the sea of Galilee when Jesus uttered one of the craziest commands of scripture, “Come.” …..
The key to getting out of the boat is to hear the voice of God. If you’re getting out of the boat in the middle of the lake and in the middle of the night, you better make sure that Jesus said, “Come.” But if Jesus says “Come,” you’d better not stay in the boat. Ibid pp. 118, 119.