Archive for the ‘Live & Learn’ Category

Read: Psalms 40:1-5

journaling

Not long ago, I passed a milestone marking 20 years since I began keeping a spiritual journal.  As I re-read my first few entries, I was amazed I ever kept it up. But now you couldn’t pay me to stop!

Here are some benefits I have received from journaling: From life experiences, I see that progress and failure are both part of the journey.  I’m reminded of God’s grace when I read how He helped me to find a solution to a major problem.  I gain insight from the past struggles that help with issues I am currently facing.  And, most important, journaling shows me how God has been faithfully working in my life.

Many of the psalms are like a spiritual journal.  They often record how God has helped in times of testing.  In Psalm 40, David writes: “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps” (vv.1-2).  Later, David needed only to read that psalm to be reminded of God’s faithful deliverance.

Journaling may be useful to you too.  It can help you see more clearly what God is teaching you on life’s journey and cause you to reflect on God’s faithfulness. – Dennis Fisher

For Further Thought

To begin a journal: Record your struggles, reflect on a verse that is especially comforting or challenging, or write a prayer of thankfulness for God’s faithfulness.

Reflecting on God’s faithfulness in the past brings hope for the future.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 31 December 2013]

 

Read: Galatians 6:1-10

choices

In the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England, the devastation of generations of enslaved men, women, and children is remembered.  The price innocent people have paid for the greed of others is horrific-but theirs is not the only cost.  Engraved in a wall of the museum is a profound observation made by Frederick Douglass, former slave and crusader for human rights, which reads, “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”

In the act of dehumanizing others, we dehumanize ourselves.  The apostle Paul put it another way when he wrote, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Paul’s words form a stark reminder to us that our choices have consequences- and that includes how we choose to treat others.  When we choose to hate, that hate can return to us in the form of consequences that we can never fully prepare for.  We can find ourselves alienated from others, angry with ourselves, and hamstrung in our ability to serve Christ effectively.

Instead, let’s choose “not [to] grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap…As we have opportunity, let us do good to all” (vv.9-10). – Bill Crowder

Sowing seeds of greed and hatred reaps corruption, loss, and pain; but if we sow love and kindness, we will reap eternal gain. – Sper

 The seed we sow today determine the kind of fruit we’ll reap tomorrow.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 28 December 2013]

One of my favorite quote:

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road– Only wakes upon the sea.

Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.”
― Antonio MachadoCampos de Castilla

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weight-lifting-do-not-try-this-at-home

 

 

 

 

 

Read:  Proverbs 6:6-11

Every year I do something special to celebrate the arrival of springs- I buy ant traps.  Those little invaders continually march into our kitchen in search of any crumb left on the floor.  They aren’t picky; a shard of potato chip, a grain of rice, or even a speck of cheese will do.

Although ants may be nuisance, Solomon praised them for their steadfast work ethic (Prov. 6:6-11).  He pointed out that ants are self-directed.  They have “no captain, overseer or ruler” (v.7), yet they are very productive.  The ants also keep busy even when it’s not immediately necessary, providing supplies in the summer and gathering food in the harvest (v.8).  By the time winter arrives, they’re not worried about what they will eat.  Little by little, these hard workers have saved up enough to sustain themselves.  We can learn from the ants.  When God gives us times of plenty, we can prepare for times when resources may be low.  God is the provider of all that we have, including our ability to work.  We are to work diligently, be wise stewards of what He has provided, and then rest in the promise of His care. (Matt. 6:25-34).

Let’s remember Solomon’s advice” Go to the ant….Consider her ways and be wise” (Prov. 6:6)- Jennifer Benson Schuldt

The humble ant’s keen industry can teach us all a lesson, if in creation we will see God’s classroom is in session. – Gustafson

Trust God for today – and prepare for tomorrow

[Source: Our Daily Bread,  6 May 2013]

I came across to this topic in wikihow.com and find it helpful to those who are in a long distance relationship. This is  quite long but a good read :).

Long-distance-relationship

Tips

  • Avoid temptations, the best and easiest way to be faithful would always be to not put yourself in a situation where you would have to be tested. Temptations would always come your way, but avoiding certain things would let your partner know that there’s nothing to worry about.
  • One of the hardest parts of a long distance relationship is connecting when one person gets busier than the other. If this happens in a relationship, it is important to maintain communication. If you are the busy person, try to warn your partner ahead of time that you will be working many hours and may have limited time. If you are the not-as-busy person, take advantage of the time by picking up a new hobby, getting in shape, reading a new book, etc. Flexibility is very important.
  • Living far apart gives you both a chance to grow as individuals. Some couples break up to “find themselves”, but in a long distance relationship you both have enough space to do your own things and still have a connection.
  • A long-distance relationship is no different from a proximal relationship in that they both require a great deal of work, excellent communication, patience, sacrifice and understanding. But you will have to work extra hard to maintain the communication and to stay focused enough to not let your daily life interfere with your desire to be with the other person. Don’t forget them or you can forget the relationship and it will all be over.long-distance-relationship
  • Sometimes phone/email/IM communication can get bland. Don’t forget there are other ways to interact! Use the internet and find things you both can do together. It takes the pressure off, it gives you a break from constant talking, and it can be fun.
  • Buy a webcam so you can chat “face-to-face” and see each other, so when you meet you will remember how your partner looks.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about the “boring” parts of your day. The trickier, almost subconscious part is maintaining the feeling of being intermingled in your partner’s life, a state the experts often refer to as “interrelatedness.”
  • Make a creative countdown and mail it to your partner to enjoy until you see each other next. For example, create a photo calendar, with something you add for each day to describe what you love about them.
  • It’s important to talk about the future. If you’re not sure how long you will be apart, try to make goals for when you can move near one another again.
  • Spice things up by meeting halfway (if it’s within a reasonable distance) to grab a bite to eat or get some coffee. This is a great alternative if you’re not able to dedicate an entire weekend with your significant other.
  • Remember “Always toward absent lovers love’s tide stronger flows.”
  • Don’t talk on the phone TOO often. Since most of your relationship is based off of phone calls, you don’t want to run out of things to talk about for the whole day. Calling one to two times daily will allow you to talk to each other without having repetitive conversations.
  • Do not set unreasonable expectations for your visit and/or future plans. Fantasizing about the visit is fine, but not out loud verbally or by email to your partner. Instead, enjoy the excitement of the surprises to come. By stating that a surprise is coming can allow to much thought time for the receiver and leaves both of you open to disappointments.
  • Mail each other scented clothes (or even clothes smelling of your sweat—pheromones are a great way to establish intimate contact). If you can see each other once a week, leave a t-shirt splashed with cologne for your lover before you leave.
  • The Long Distance Relationship Guidebook is a well-balanced, practical book for couples in long distance relationships who need some guidance.
  • It helps to have a solid time in the future for when the long distance part of the relationship will end, no matter the time length. Without it, the relationship can begin to mold into something that is always distant—even with great communication. With it, each person can see the point at which the distance will end and work harder to keep emotions readily available.
  • When talking to your partner, take note of things they enjoy the most (hobbies, day-to-day activities, etc.), and do a little research on it so you have more to do when you see them next. For example: If your partner likes to dance, find the location of different clubs where you will see them next. If you don’t know how to dance, take lessons and you will impress them by your willingness to make an effort on their behalf.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
  • Send each other spontaneous e-cards.
  • Choose a game that you can play together over the internet, whether it is a MMORPG (massively multi-player online role playing game) or something more traditional, such as chess or Scrabble. You will be able to chat while playing and it will give a greater feeling of togetherness.
  • Express yourself to free up emotional weight. One poet who’s written poetry as a result of a long-distance relationship is Tony Berndtsson – look him up.
  • Trust is the key.
  • A surprise of balloons flowers or a special gift mailed or sent to them
  • Sometimes when you are together, try to do domestic, seemingly mundane things that couples who live together would do- grocery shopping, spring cleaning the closet, rearranging furniture/redecorating, etc. It gives the feeling of creating a home together, something you both surely look forward to.
  • Always try to be happy when talking or texting each other; make sure to always be positive about them and the things she/he does.
  • When getting to know each other, show the real you, not the person you think your partner wants.
  • Don’t be too anxious or jealous that you don’t always know what they are doing. A little space is good and will definitely keep things calm.
  • Always listen to your partner on what they think will make the relationship stronger. Also ALWAYS be there for them no matter what.
  • Don’t be afraid to voice your fears.

Warnings

  • Long distance relationships are difficult, as you are emotionally attached to a person you cannot touch or comfort and this can wreak havoc with your emotions. You may have negative thoughts or feelings that are not true, you may doubt your love feelings, or, because of some fights over the phone, you may feel that you don’t feel the way you did before for your partner. But try to keep these feelings in perspective as distance can aggravate them.
  • Long distance relationships can and will test you and your partner; you need to trust him/her entirely, lest paranoia play a major part in the demise of your relationship.
  • There would always be people that would say that long distance relationships don’t work, just remember that they are not the people who are in the relationship. Making it work surviving the long distance cannot should not be determined by them.
  • When you are alone, take out time to see the photos of your love, any gift that he/she has given, or letters written. At night, before sleeping, try to recollect those wonderful moments.
  • Remember, fights are a part of any relationship, and it’s up to you to deal with it or to succumb to it.
  • Long distance relationships are not for the faint of heart. They can be very trying, but so can proximal relationships.ldr
  • Try to make every possible effort from your side. Initially, love/passion can be the driving force. As time goes on, it’s commitment that is most important.
  • It’s easier to get into arguments in a long-distance relationship, because you can’t always discern what someone’s actual tone is through text. It’s also a lot easier to say hurtful things when you’re not face-to-face, but the words can hurt just the same. Take special care to watch how you interpret their words (for it might not be what they meant), and what you say when you’re angry.
  • Remember, every kind of relationship takes hard work and dedication to your loved one or partner, whether it’s long distance or proximal. If you and your partner are willing to take these steps, then expect bumps and turns in the road. These bumps and turns will only help contribute towards a relationship.tumblr_m33t6be6yk1qipt9v

[Source: WikiHow.com]

The Good Egg Test

Posted: February 17, 2013 in Guten Appetit!, Live & Learn
Tags: ,

Some good things to know:

How to tell if your egg is fresh.  Pop it into a glass of water and observe.

If it sinks to the bottom and stays there, it’s good and fresh.

sink

 

If it sinks but then floats at an angle, it’s about a week old.

tilt

 

If it floats, bin it. Bad egg

float

Additional information:

How do you see if an egg is hard cooked? Spin it on a flat surface. If the egg wobbles, it’s fresh because the insides are moving around. If the egg spins smoothly, it’s cooked.

 [Source: Hungry? a book by innocent]

 

Read: Psalm 63:1-8

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photo is from internet

photo shown is from internet

A hotel in Singapore introduced an express buffet- eat all you can in 30 minutes and pay just half the price! After that experience, one diner reported: “I lost my decorum, stuffing my mouth with yet more food.  I lost my civility…and I lost my appetite for the rest of the day, so severe was my heartburn.”

Sometimes I think in our devotional reading we treat God’s Word like an express buffet.  We wolf it down as fast as we can and wonder why we haven’t learned very much.  Like physical food, spiritual food needs chewing!

For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, we may have a tendency to speed-read through the passages we’ve read many times before.   But in doing so, we miss what God is meaning to show us.  One sure sign of this is when we learn nothing new from that passage.

David’s desire was right when he wrote in Psalm 119:15, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” That’s the way to treat God’s Word- to take time to mull it over.

photo is random finds from internet

photo shown above is from internet

Let’s not come to the Bible as if we were going to an express buffet.  Only by meditating on God’s Word will we get the most value for our spiritual well-being. – C.P. Hia

Spending time in meditation,

Hiding Scripture in our heart,

Works in us a transformation

So from sin we can depart- Sper

Reading the Bible without reflecting is like eating without chewing.

[Source: Daily Bread, 01 January 2013]