Thursday, September 17, 2009

Joseph succeeded because he forgave

That's so simple, isn't it? Yet, its so difficult. Sunday's word by Malin Fisher, candidate for ministry from our Riverlea community, still keeps us talking.

Fisher, reflected on Gen 45, reading the text in context. He focussed on how Joseph, (the Muslims would call him Yusuf) could overcome the odds stacked against him, by forgiving those that hurt him deeply in his life, in particular his own brothers. Why was it possible for him to have this spirit of forgiveness ? He was able to see God's bigger picture- he was able to see God's plan.

Many times we struggle to succeed in life because of the past. Some-one said this or that to me, others unfairly discriminated against me. These experiences becomes the basis upon which I judge myself and my potential for success. More-so, many times I become obsessed with these hurts and resentment. I nurture them. In order to be free from these shackles, we should not wait for others to some and repent or show remorse-Joseph took the initiative, called his brothers together and forgave them, blessed then with gifts and released them. This liberation was not only critical for the brothers, but also for Joseph. He was freed from a victim-mentality, from an oppressed-self image, to being a new person... not oppressor nor oppressed; not victim nor perpetrator... he was a free human being.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pray for Hungary

Last year I had the priviledge of visting Hungary. In particular I spend some time in Budapest, and at a mission conference on the lake Balaton.

It is a beautifull country, with beautifull people. The churches came through a period of struggle and persecution, hence we don't find a lot of the bravado and arrogance, which is to be found in other parts of the world. The churches remain close to each other and are closeknit families.

We need to pray for our sisters and brothers in these countries, as they also struggle to rebuild their country and churches. They need to know that God is faithfull and with them in their struggles to remain faithfull to the gospel.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Riverlea's got talent

Inspired by the initiative from our young people, we may challenge a deeper look into the question, how is talent transformed into produducing champions. What are the relationship between talent and success?

A book that is dealing with the question comes from Dr John Maxwell, entitled Talent is never Enough: Discover the Choices that will take you beyond your talent.

According to Maxwell, talent is Godgiven, but discovering your talent is only the first step. We need to take it further and he suggest three steps:
1)We need to realise, everyone has talent. Every person is capable of doing something better then the next ten thousand people. In Discover Your strengths Marcus Buckingham & Clifton, speaks of your ‘strength zone’. Find it and make the most of it.
2)Develop the talent you have and not the talent you want. Maxwell, is clear, 'stop working on your weaknesses and start working in your strengths'
3)Anyone can make choices that will add value to talent. He qoutes, William Jennings Bryan, who states, ’Destiny is not a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it’s a thing to be achieved.’ Talent is a given, but you must earn success...

We will continue to elaborate on these points, as part of the current Riverlea's got Talent-credo of our young people..

Thursday, September 10, 2009

knowledge is compassion

Somebody made the comment today that knowledge is compassion. We often heard the old adage, 'knowledge is power' and we end up with fights and brutal wars. Often, I am amazed as the brutality of people. Espescially people that you expect to be mature and sophisticated, intelligent people. What do you do in these situations ? Does one succumb to the temptation of simply letting go and give him what you've got. Or what ?

The challenge for Christians is to be conscious of the choices me make and why we make it. We become people conscious of our mental state and how the minds operate. The apostle Paul makes an interesting statement, he states, 'we destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ....' (2 Cor 10:5-6)

He is conscious of thoughts of the workings of the mind- because the brutality is bred, in an environment where we allow rash thoughts to control our behaviour. If knowledge doesn't breed a new humanity, new relationships then its simply vanity.