Take One More Step

We get knocked down, but we get up again. 2 Corinthians 4:9


Failure can feel like a punch in the gut. And when it keeps happening it’s tempting just to give up. But you can’t; you must ‘get up again.’ Failing doesn’t make you a failure, quitting does. H.E. Jensen said, ‘The man who wins may have been counted out several times, but he didn’t hear the referee.’ A failure-free life feels safe, but it fosters boredom, apathy and low self-esteem. Ever noticed that the devil never reminds you of what you’ve learned? No, he wants you to keep reliving the painful details. Learn the lesson, then forget the details! Victory requires building on what you’ve learned and moving on. Theologian Brooke Foss Westcott said, ‘Great occasions don’t make heroes or cowards, they simply unveil them…Silently, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak, and at last some crisis shows us what we have become.’ This article ran in The Wall Street Journal: ‘You’ve failed many times although you may not remember. You fell the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim. Did you hit the ball the first time you swung the bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before publishing 564 books.’ H. Jackson Brown gives us two rules for winning: Rule One: Take one more step. Rule Two: When you can’t take one more step, refer to rule number one.



source UCB

http://www.ucb.co.uk/index.cfm?itemid=92&testdate13 Jan 2011

Find the vision (3&4)

Find the vision (4)

‘Write the vision and make it plain’ Habakkuk 2:2

The thing with following God’s vision for you that’s really important to remember, is that whatever happens along the way, you’re in it together – God’s with you every step of the way. The chances are that at some point on your journey in following the vision, things will get a bit tough. Obstacles will spring up, people may even tell you that you’re a little young to do what God’s put on your heart. When that happens, go back to that bit of paper and remind yourself that this isn’t your vision, but God’s, and if He’s told you to go with it, that’s what you need to do. So don’t see obstacles as bad thingsinstead, face them head on, take a look at the tough moments, and see how they could make you stronger instead. What might look like an obstacle now could actually look more like a stepping stone helping you along when you look back on it later. Be encouraged by the story of Joseph in Genesis 39. His brothers sold him to slave traders, who sold him to Potiphar, who put him in prison where he met the butler, who introduced him to Pharaoh, who made him Prime Minister of Egypt – fulfilling his dream! He could have given up on his vision at any point during those tough times – but he didn’t. He trusted God, and God took him through it. Never stop following!


Find the vision (3)

‘Write the vision and make it plain’ Habakkuk 2:2

It’s one thing to find your vision, but that’s not enough – you’ve got to follow it too. What’s the use of having a present but never opening it, or knowing how to speak but never opening your mouth? An un-followed vision is just as useless! This is where the verse for these last few days really comes into its own. Grab a pen and paper right now – what are you waiting for? – and write down your vision. It may not be completely clear to you yet, but write it as plainly and simply as you can. What is it that you feel God is calling you to do? What dream has He given you? Maybe it’s to start up a youth service at church? Maybe to get involved in fair-trade? Maybe it’s to really throw yourself into Bible study so you can make sense of the Bible when you’re chatting to others? Maybe it’s to one day have a family of your own and to start preparing for that today? Maybe it’s to study hard so you can go to medical school and eventually become a doctor? It could be absolutely anything! Don’t worry how big or small it is – every person’s vision will be different – but get it down on paper. Now you need to come back to it every day, read it, remember it, and ask God to help you come up with a plan of action to make it happen. Start taking those first little steps forwards, and see where God takes you with it.


source UCB

http://www.ucb.co.uk/index.cfm?itemid=92&testdate=04 Jan 2011

Your vision – you must ‘find’ it! (2)

..”Write the vision and make it plain“… Habakkuk 2:2

Jesus said, ‘…for this reason I was born…’ (John 18:37 NIV). When you know why you’re here and what your God-given purpose is, you become virtually unstoppable. You won’t be flawless, but you’ll have the innate power to overcome each obstacle as you proceed. If you get turned around, God loves you enough to get your attention, correct and redirect you, and get you back on track. But to find the right answers you must first ask the right questions, such as:

1) What desires have been living in me most of my life?

Singing creativity, inspiring

2) What motivates me to be productive?

3) What keeps me going forward when I’m worn out?

4) What makes me refuse to quit when I meet with resistance or opposition? 5) What do I do that doesn’t seem like work?

Writing inspirationals; and songs

6) What do I do that brings positive response and support from others?

7) What am I doing, or what’s happening in my life when doors seem to open automatically and effortlessly?

8) What do discerning leaders and godly counsellors think about my work?

9) What makes me feel good about being who I am?

 10) What makes my creative juices flow?

11) What am I willing to sacrifice to accomplish it?

12) What am I doing that I’d be proud to offer for God’s approval?

13) What would I do without being paid for, if I could afford to?

14) What would I be willing to withstand satan over, in order to accomplish it?

What is God saying to you? It’s not too late; ‘find’ your vision and follow it!


source UCB

http://www.ucb.co.uk/index.cfm?itemid=92&testdate=04 Jan 2011

Find the vision (1)

‘Write the vision and make it plain’ Habakkuk 2:2

OK, so how do we actually go about finding this vision or dream then? Well, first, have a think about what you love doing, what you’re passionate about, what gifts God has given you. What do you feel like you really want to do with your life? The chances are, God’s vision or dream for you will have something to do with those things. He’ll use your skills and talents to fulfil His purpose, in a way that only you can. One really important thing to remember though, is that your vision must come from God. There’s a difference between setting your own goals and having a God-given vision.

When your vision is of God, ‘it will surely come’ (Hab. 2:3 NKJ). You won’t have to try and fix it yourself so that things go your way. God will provide the resources and open doors at the right time. Every step you take needs to be directed by Him. God will reveal your vision and give you an opportunity to fulfil it. But – you can choose to ignore, resist, postpone it, or give your life to other things. Don’t make that mistake and forfeit what God has for you. You’ll only end up missing out on the best. Choose to follow His plan. Also, remember that whatever your vision, God wants you to be a blessing to others, just like Abraham was. God told him ‘I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing’ (Gen. 12:2 NIV

source UCB

http://www.ucb.co.uk/index.cfm?itemid=92&testdate=04 Jan 2011

No Vision, No Progression or Promotion

No Vision, No Progression or Promotion

New Year’s reso-vision?

 ‘Write the vision and make it plain’ Habakkuk 2:2

Happy New Year! So – are you the kind of person who makes hundreds of new year’s resolutions every year, and then come Jan 4, you’ve already gone and broken most of them? Have you made any yet this year? How long do you think they’ll last?! Well, how about this year, instead of the normal routine, you make a resolution to check out God’s vision for your life, and see what you can do about it? We’re going to spend the next few days looking at how we can do that, practically. Firstly, what actually is a ‘vision’? Is it some weird hallucination type thing that’ll hover in front of your eyes, making you wonder if someone spiked the punch at last night’s party? If that’s the case, I can understand you thinking, ‘No thanks, I’ll pass on a vision this year!’. But that’s not the kind of vision we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is more like a plan, or a dream, for what God can do, and wants to do, through you and your life. Maybe that still sounds a bit scary to you – but don’t panic! God won’t ask you to do anything you can’t do. In fact, He’ll ask you to do something only you can do. You’ll be the perfect person for the job. Sounds pretty good to me. What better new year’s resolution could there be than getting really stuck into God’s plan for your life?

http://www.ucb.co.uk/index.cfm?itemid=92&testdate=04 Jan 2011

Let the Gift Not Cause a Rift


Let the gift not cause a rift

Between you and the Giver

Just as Abraham was tested

About Isaac, you will be tested.


Rather let the gift, bring a lift

To a place of trust, surrender

Worship, devotion, dedication

Consecration, adoration, adulation.


Know that what you give up to God

Will one day return, come back to you

As a blessing- an unexpected reward.

Concerning the gift: know you’re a steward.

Genesis 22:1-17 (New King James Version)

Genesis 22

Abraham’s Faith Confirmed

 1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad[a] and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
And he said, “Here I am, my son.”
Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide;[b] as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Gen 22:1-17

Children can be very funny and yet communicate life-changing truths to us. Can you imagine giving a child a gift and then moments later you ask for part of that gift and the child shrugs its shoulders telling you, ‘No! It’s mine.

We also do the same in many ways when God gives us things, people, children and requires us to surrender them to Him. God tests us like He did Abraham to see if we love Him more than what He has given to us. It is s test of sacrifice; a test of obedience, love, worship and dedication.

May we pass this test this year.

May we realise that when God wants something from us, it is to give Him the opportunity to give back to us, enlarge us, bless us to be a blessing, not just to our generation but the generations to come.

Let us pray:

Lord, I come in total surrender to You. I thank You for the gifts that you have given to me, realising that all good and perfect gifts come from You, our Father, who gives liberally.

Help me to loose my grip on the things you have given to me and be willing to surrender them to You in obedience and to show my love, loyalty, dedication and worship.

O Lord, may the gift not cause rift betweens You and I, in  Jesus’ name, Amen.

©Fenny West 2011-5 Devotion/test/trial of faith 01