Embrace Change!

change

change (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

 

Change and I are not the best of buddies. Being the “if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it” and “don’t rock the boat” kind of person that I am, I’m usually averse to Change. ‘Form’, ‘structure’, ‘routine’ are a few of the buzz words in my world. So whenever ‘Change’ comes to visit me, I’ll cringe and duck for cover. I’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain status quo.

I must admit though, by keeping Change at arm’s length, life becomes boring. After a while sameness loses appeal; just like your favorite outfit that has been worn repeatedly and loses sheen or like a well-trodden grass patch that becomes bare, life itself becomes dull and wearisome if Change is not Embraced!

In the grand scheme of life, Change is inevitable. In our lifetime, we will go through different seasons – a season to humble and a season to rise; a season to go without and a season to abound; a season to wane and a season to blossom; a season to abandon and a season to gather together. One leads to another and we need to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly in the same vein because it is Change that adds variation, vibrancy and vigor to life!

And you know what, our God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things that do not exist, as though they do (Roman 4:17), Himself embraced Change for the greater good of mankind! Author Max Lucado* describes it beautifully this way – “Jesus swapped a spotless castle for a grimy stable. He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of killers. He could hold the universe in his palm but gave it up to float in the womb of a maiden. He went from commanding angels to sleeping in the straw. From holding stars to clutching Mary’s finger. The palm that held the universe took the nail of a soldier”

In the scriptures, we find at one instance, the Lord instructing Moses to strike the rock so that water would flow out for the people to drink and at another time the Lord commanded Moses to speak to the rock instead (Numbers 20:7-12). Sadly, Moses had to pay a hefty price because he did not embrace the order of Change.

I have heard it said that absurdity is defined as doing the same things again and again and expecting different outcome. Resistance to Change impedes creativity and new discoveries. Imagine for a moment, if the world did not evolve, would we have embraced growth and advancement? It is only when we are willing to embrace Change, we get to enlarge our visions and spring open the doors to unchartered territories, dreams and life anew!

So, of late, my perception of Change has changed (pardon the pun :p) I’m welcoming Change with wide open arms; would you join me? God-Sized-Button

Blessings,

Suzan

*Max Lucado quote from “A Love Worth Giving”

Thanks for reading Embrace Change! I’d love to hear your views. Please comment!

Raise Your Expectations

It was yet another ordinary day for the blind beggar of Jericho. As darkness continued to rule his world, there wasn’t much for him to look forward to. Dawn and dusk made no difference to him. He tuned his ear to hear the birds chirping cheerfully; the melody was interrupted by a sudden burst of revelries. Curiosity got the better of him. He grabbed one of the passer by and asked what the hype was about. “Jesus of Nazareth is in town” he was told.

The blind beggar realized it was not to be another ordinary day after all; it was a day when his destiny would be altered. So he raised his voice to its peak and began shouting “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The throng of people tried to drown his cry; “Be quiet!” they said; but the tenacity of the blind man of Jericho made him to shout even louder, pleading for God’s mercy. His pleas reached Jesus ears; it halted His journey and caused Him to turn around. Jesus ordered the blind man to be brought to Him. “What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “Lord, I want to see!” replied the blind man. In an instant his destiny changed as Jesus uttered “receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Brilliant light flooded his sight as he beheld the Son of God and received his miracle!

The above story is from Luke 18:35-43, presented with my own adaptation; in my last post, I shared about how insulating yourself from disappointment by not having expectation robs you of a life worth living. Today, I hope to nudge you lovingly to raise your expectations.

The daily hum and drum of life may have stolen the excitement and curiosity you once felt as a little child. Day in, day out, as you go about another day of routine, boredom may try to claim permanent residency in your life! Drained of all zest and energy, it’s no big surprise that we lose the element of expectancy in our life. However, hope and expectancy are two fundamental wheels that propel the circle of life forward;

Believe

Believe (Photo credit: TEVR)

The blind man of Jericho despite the odds, EXPECTED Jesus to give him sight;

The lady with the issue of blood for twelve years, EXPECTED to touch Jesus clothes and be made well (Mark 5:25-29);

The Syrophenician woman refusing to accept “No” for an answer, EXPECTED Jesus to deliver her young daughter from an unclean spirit (Mark 7 25-30);

The Centurion who besought the Lord for his servant’s healing, EXPECTED Jesus to speak forth the word and his servant would be healed (Matthew 8:8);

Barren Hannah who poured out her soul before the Lord EXPECTED and asked Jesus to bless her with a child (1 Samuel 1:15-20);

David who stood before Goliath in the name of the Lord of Hosts EXPECTED JESUS to deliver the “mighty Goliath” into his hand with a stone and sling (1 Samuel 17:45-51);

All of them raised their expectations and believed God for the extra-ordinary. They inherited the breakthroughs which they dared to expect. Today, the Lord wants to stir up your expectations. He wants you to fan into flame that long forgotten dream of yours; He wants to resurrect that childhood vigour in you to break from the norm; and if I may, I want to encourage you to break any barrier that restraints you from dreaming; from believing for the impossible; from living a life of expectancy because the Lord longs to be gracious to you (Isaiah 30:18)

This entry was posted on February 13, 2013. 1 Comment

Don’t play it safe!

Different strokes for different folks! Every one of us responds to life challenges differently. Life events either shapes us into ‘bitter’ or ‘better’ beings; events that either ‘makes us’ or ‘break us’; either spurs us to keep on moving or pushes us into the closet and keep the doors tightly shut!

Disappointments and heartaches may have ‘beaten to pulps’ your dreams, hopes and expectations. As ammunition against disappointments, you may have a propensity to think “I will not hurt, if I dream not, hope not, expect not”. If you have trodden down this path like I did, you’ll soon realize that you exist but without life; you’ll be awake but not alive; you’ll walk without a skip in your steps; your heart beats monotone!

But this is not what you were created for, my friend! The creative God who formed you and I, created us in His very own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). God’s very first instruction to mankind was to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28) not to be safe and stagnant. Growth will not occur unless “a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies” (John 12:24). If you shield yourself from the hard knocks of life by not aspiring and daring to dream, you will not grow and flourish. By living a life without expectations, you may be “disappointment-free” but that will not be a life of fulfilment.

The heart of Him who formed you and called you by name (Isaiah 43:1) bids you to step out of the boat and walk on water; and should the blows of life threaten to sink you, fear not friend, for Jesus will IMMEDIATELY stretch forth His hand and catch you ((Matthew 14:31).

So don’t play it safe beloved one. You are not called to a life of mediocrity. Dare to dream and spread out your wings and take off to higher ground! The host of heaven cheers you on and so do I!

Eagles flight

Doing one thing to move forward….

There is an inate desire in me to impact and influence my world with empowering words; Words that are drawn from the “Greatest Writer” the Holy Spirit.

After a few E-coaching session with Holley Gerth, I ventured out and created a blog titled “Empowering Thoughts”. However, very soon the bubble fizzled out as thoughts of inadequacy, lack of motivation and a variety of other reasons crept in. All too soon I stopped what I had started.

The God-sized series has reignited my desire to write again and after reading Holley’s “Small Things Can Make a BIG Difference–Especially When We’re Together ” post, I was gently nudged to take action. So I returned here immediately and wrote a brief post titled “Words are containers of Powers”. Without worrying much about eloquence, I simply let the words flow and quickly clicked the “publish” button. In order to connect with a wider audience, I also went on to set up a face book profile (something which I had resisted to do for a long time!).

I read it somewhere that unless you loose sight of the shores, you cannot discover what is on the other side of the horizon. I have taken my first two tiny steps to move forward to discover the horizon.

To all those who read my blog, thank you for your visit and time.  Please excuse me for posting a “work-in-progress” article.

God bless you!

God-Sized-Button

This entry was posted on January 16, 2013. 2 Comments

Words are Containers of Power

 

Words have creative power; Words also have destructive power;
Words can build; Words can also tear apart;
Words can heal; Words can also injure;
Words can impart hope even in a dead-end; Words can also dispel your aspiring dreams.

As you sail through the winds of life and charter into unknown terrains,
The horizon perhaps is calm on some days and stormy on some other days;
Some part of the journey may be smooth whilst some other part boisterous;
This could be the life you dreamed of or it could be a life you did not bargain for.

We frame our world with the words we speak. Where we are today in life, is a sum total of the words we have spoken thus far. Where we will be in our “not so distant” future would be determined by the words we choose to speak.

The Words we speak are self-fulfilling prophecies. Life and death is in the power of our Words. So my friend, let us choose our Words wisely!

Blessings,
Suzan

The greatest GIFT I could ever receive

the Lamborghini logotype

Image via Wikipedia

Hello friends,

I have been out of action in the past weeks. My apologies for E-MIA (electronically missing in action :p)

If I were to ask you “what is the greatest gift that you have ever received or could ever receive” what would your answer be? Come on, put on your thinking cap and take a moment to ponder about it.

Have you come up with your wish list? Is it a dazzling diamond? Is it striking a windfall or perhaps even winning a condominium or a Lamborghini? How does an all paid around-the-world trip sound to you? It sounds out of the world doesn’t it?

I had been all “wired up” these past weeks due to my book-keeping examination and my son’s examination as well which overlapped at the same time. It contributed to my insomnia nights of late. It was on one such sleepless night, that I asked myself this question. I was desperately trying to get some sleep before dawn knocked on my window, but my body system decided to take on the Owl’s night shift. As I was on the bed, I was thinking about what is the greatest gift I could ever receive. My mind raced through the galaxies and came up with so many material things. The more I thought, the more sleepless I got, so I started to think at even more deeper level!

I thought about the Lord in His Glory and Majesty. I thought about His Sovereignty and Splendor. I thought about His Holiness and then I thought about my own imperfection. I thought how I could ever approach the throne of God as I am without falling dead in the awesome Presence of the Most Holy God. The best of us even in our A1 moments can never ever be in the Lord’s presence without being zapped to death because our righteousness is like unto filthy rags. That’s when my thoughts drifted to the garden of Eden when our primal parent blew their right to be in the Presence of God and as a result we also forfeited that privilege! I thought about how our Heavenly Father in consultation with His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, wrote the Redemption Plan! The Triune God in His infinite knowledge knew that there is absolutely no way that we can ever gain entrance to His Presence unless He made a way for us. Father God envisioned the Redemption Plan, Jesus Christ executed the grand plan through the cross. And now we can boldly enter the Lord Presence at Christ expense at any time. Now think with me differently for a moment…..how if the Father did not come up with the Redemption Plan? How if Jesus Christ did not shed His Blood to blot our sins? I shudder to think the consequences of that! What a wretched people we would have been!

As the morning dawned, it also dawned on me that the greatest gift I have ever or could ever receive, is the privilege that I have in Christ to approach the Presence of Lord at any time, any day. To me that is the greatest gift that I treasure. How about you?

This entry was posted on October 10, 2011. 1 Comment

Letting go your unfulfilled dreams….

Sequoia sempervirens in Redwood National Park

Image via Wikipedia

Shalom friends!

We are stepping into yet another new week. A week filled with dreams, hopes and expectations.

Recently, I came across a timeless story titled the “tale of three trees”. I’m sure some of you would have heard this story before, but its worth repeating. So here’s the tale, with a personal twist of mine!

There are 3 main characters to this story, namely the Olive tree, the Oak tree and the Cedar tree. Once upon a mountaintop, these little three trees were sharing their lofty aspirations to one another. Each had a great vision about its future and wanted to become something special and valuable in life. The Olive tree looked above the starry skies and proclaimed “I want to be made into a masterpiece, a treasure chest holding the world’s finest and most sought after treasures.” The Oak tree gazing intently at the great oceans, shared its desire, “I want to be an enormous ship, travelling the mighty waters, carrying dignitaries. I will be the most famous ship in the world.” Finally, the Cedar tree looking around the magnificent view, declared its noble dream, “I don’t want to leave this mountaintop at all! I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they will lift their head heavenward and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world!” So as years passed by, these three trees grew up.

One fateful day, a woodsman came to the mountaintop. In a split second, with a swoop of his shinning axe, he struck the Olive tree. The Olive tree was so thrilled that its dream was about to be fulfilled. But alas, the woodsman had other plans for it. He used the Olive tree to make a manger to house food for dirty smelly animals. The Olive tree’s dream shattered. He felt demeaned and worthless. Likewise the Oak tree was chopped off and fashioned into a small fishing boat. Too small and too weak to sail an ocean or even a river, he was taken to a little lake. Every day he brought in loads of dead, smelly fish. The Oak tree was in despair. One stormy day, the Cedar tree was struck by a bolt of lightning and came crashing to the ground prematurely and was carried away to the lumberyard.  “What happened?” the once-tall Cedar tree wondered. “All I ever wanted to do was stay on the mountaintop and point to God.”

With their dreams shattered, the three trees felt worthless. As days passed by, they abandoned their lofty aspirations. But God had other plans for their future. In fact, He had envisioned a soaring destiny for them.

One night golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the manager. Suddenly the Olive tree realized it was holding the universe greatest treasure of all time – baby Jesus!

A few years later, a tired traveller and his friends needed a boat to cross over the lake. They boarded into a small boat. Soon a thrashing storm arose. The little boat shuddered. He knew he did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and rain. Then the traveller stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the Oak tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth!

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when it was yanked from the forgotten woodpile. It flinched as it was carried through an angry, jeering crowd. It shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to it. It was on this Cedar tree that Jesus was crucified! The Cedar tree was used by God as an eternal emblem pointing people to God’s love and compassion to this day! This is better than being the tallest tree in the whole world.

Like the three trees, you may have disappointments and dreams that did not come to pass. Jesus said that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over”. To borrow a fellow blogger’s quote nothing significant happens in kingdom unless death occurs”.

Just like I used to be, you may be robbed of God’s future for you because you are still trapped in those unfulfilled dreams and expectations. Dwelling long in that place of disappointment, all it will bring is only gloom and darkness. It will hinder your growth and get in the way to realize your God-given destiny.

Dear friends, I urge you, let today be the day when you let go of your unfulfilled dreams. God cannot usher in His perfect plan and purposes for your life until you loose grip of what holds you captive. Bring those broken dreams to the feet of the Father instead and entrust them into the loving hands of Jesus. Then, step back and watch new beginnings unfold in your life!

Be amazingly blessed,

Suzan

Tale of Three Trees adapted from – http://filsg.com/smf/index.php?topic=1526.0

This entry was posted on August 22, 2011. 1 Comment