Inspiration comes through challenges and in unusual circumstances:
Suddenly you have a “lightbulb moment”
I entered a Photo Inspiration Challenge about a year ago with this picture below.
This was my inspiration: Jonah spat out of the mouth of the fish and washed ashore.
He had disobeyed God when told to go and preach at Nineveh. He boarded a ship to Tarshish and all hell broke loose on the ship. He knew he was the cause and asked to be thrown into the sea to save the lives of those on the ship. They did and there was a great calm.
Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and there he repented and worshipped God, who had mercy on him and commanded the fish to spit him out. He was then washed ashore as we can see in the picture. Read Jonah Ch1 and 2 for the full gist.
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Romans 12: Living Sacrifices to God
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.Rom12:1-2
Ephesians 5: Walk in Love
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.John17:14
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ” I will dwell in themAnd walk among them.I will be their God,And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore ” Come out from among themAnd be separate, says the Lord.Do not touch what is unclean,And I will receive you.”
18 ” I will be a Father to you,And you shall be My sons and daughters,Says the LORD Almighty.”
Teach your child to ask themselves these two questions: 1) ‘How will I feel afterwards?’ What outlasts our decisions are the subsequent feelings of self-respect versus shame, and positive self-worth versus negative self-worth. Our actions ultimately become history, but our thoughts about them continue to shape our future. ‘Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.’ Children with self-respect are much less likely to indulge in promiscuous sex, drugs, drinking, antisocial and illegal behaviours. Self-respect and self-worth are internal standards which we are loathed to violate. Giving in to selfish choices is like abandoning the moral core of our being-the sacred soul God gave us. 2) ‘How will the people I value feel about me after this decision?’ The trust and respect of others is always needed to succeed. Reputation trumps money, even in the secular marketplace. ‘Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold’ (Proverbs 22:1 NLT). Poor decision making can earn us a reputation that’ll haunt our prospects indefinitely. ‘A person who plans (chooses) evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker’ (Proverbs 24:8 NLT). When you get a negative reputation, it’s hard to recover from it (Proverbs 25:10 NLT). The short-term benefits of making poor decisions lead to long-term losses and regrets. The person God blesses must ‘…exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation…’ (1Timothy 3:2 NLT).
THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD (2)by Bob Gas (Word for Today)
Somebody said, ‘Yard by yard life is hard, inch by inch life’s a cinch!’ For their life to go right, your children must learn to think right. So teach them to ask: 1) ‘What are my options in this situation?’ But do it with the right attitude. If your face is like thunder when you talk to them, they’ll run for cover. Brainstorm with them, writing down every option that’s offered. Tell them that no answers are wrong and no idea will be judged as silly; all suggestions are accepted and valued. You’re priming their creative pump, encouraging them to think for themselves. 2) ‘What benefits come from each option?’ The goal is not to coerce them, but for them to discover and embrace the truth for themselves. And that comes through patience, not pressure. Ask them to list which benefits seem most important to them. 3) ‘What negative consequences come from each option?’ Children can be brutally honest. That’s okay; it’s just part of learning God’s cause-and-effect law of sowing and reaping. Indeed, many adult regrets could have been avoided by following this law. Don’t preach or rant about how terrible the consequences are. Teach them to question themselves, ‘Am I willing to accept the consequences? How would they change my life?’ 4) ‘What personal values are involved in this decision?’ Values-based decisions call us to the high road rather than the path of least resistance. Suggest some godly values as primers, such as truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, responsibility, compassion, friendship, self-denial, courage, honour, faith, etc. Break it down small for younger children, but don’t miss your opportunity.
THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD (1)by Bob Gas (Word for Today)
‘…Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…’ Joshua 24:15
Good decision making is the key to a happy life. But good decision making is not a skill some of us are naturally blessed with, while poor decision making is a handicap others are born with. Courage, education, or the ageing process doesn’t automatically produce better decision makers. Spending time with good decision makers is wise, but it doesn’t rub off on you. And the earlier you teach this skill to your children, the better (Proverbs 22:6). So teach your children the following principles: 1) The consequences you get are the result of the choices you make. Let your children know it’s not their circumstances, but decisions they make about them, that govern their lives. You may think your children know this, but they don’t. Their ‘wiring problem’ makes ’cause and effect’ difficult to connect until their brain reaches later adolescence. Asking, ‘What were you thinking about?’ will just invite the famous shoulder shrug and blank stare. They’re not stupid-they just need guidance. 2) You will always have options. Children commonly feel powerless and hopeless when reacting to negative circumstances. They tend to be ‘either/or’ thinkers, concluding that things are either all good or all bad. Teach them ‘both/and’ thinking, because things can be bad yet you can choose to make good decisions about them. ‘Either/or’ thinking frequently produces children who become pessimistic, disempowered, easily manipulated, depressed adults. Knowing they always have good options prevents circumstances from dictating their lives.