Who Is Your Source of Blessings?
My grandfather used to say - "Long Life is a Blessing." He also said that "If you live long enough, you will experience many things, you thought could have never happened." So true!!
My grandfather died at ninety one (91) and my grandmother at eighty-six (86). They aged graciously. My father, mother and uncle died in their mid to late seventies, at least achieving the age of seventy (70) as promised by God.
How did they achieve such ripe old age. There is one word "Contentment." Again a quote from my grand father "contentment is great gain." It is not that everything was well health-wise with my immediate family but they were grateful for life - the most important blessing. I have learnt to trust the teachings of the Bible as one thing I have kept sacred is the instruction "to give thanks in all things." In whatever circumstance you find yourself - give thanks. When you live on that simple principle you will not only live with joy, you will also age graciously.
Today, we live in a world where there is anxiety and destruction all around us. There is fear in every aspect of our lives. Law and Order is not in the vocabulary of many, especially our young. Living on the edge seems to be the order of the day. No wonder we see so many of our young people looking much older than they really are.
The time has come when our people need to be able to deal with stress. In dealing with stress, there is need for controlled thought and behavior. I have a feeling if we begin to introduce stress therapy to our citizens we will become a more productive nation and the threat of AIDS will also be controlled. Many persons deal with their frustrations in ways that are not in their best interest by indulging in alcohol, drugs, sex, etc., etc. Over indulgence in anything good or bad should be avoided. This is what the Bible speaks out against. Of course a little wine is good for the stomach sake. Regular sex is healthy. Smiling expresses joy.
It is time that we promote the joy of healthy living and aging graciously. I have a great idea for a TV show on the topic - "Men and Women Aging Graciously." I believe there should be a promotion encouraging persons who have managed age well to come forward, audition them and select a suitable person from among them if possible to moderate the programme.
In living the good life, it is all about self esteem. You are what you think you are. The most affluent among us will also have difficult times, sometimes, the wounds are inflicted by themselves, other times through no fault of theirs. But never, never, let the trials of those periods overwhelm you. It is in this regard that the good book stands out.
The Heavenly Father will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able. Because of His power, we can do all things but where is your source? Who is that source of your Power? You must have faith if someone or something outside of yourself to deal with the matters that are beyond you both physically and mentally.
It is the affirmative power of the teachings of the Bible that makes for successful living of Believers. Most of the citizens of the USA are God fearing, Bible believing people. The Churches in America preach prosperity. In these parts until recently, we were taught about suffering and abstention. What about abundant living which is being able to live and enjoy the good life. The Bible states that Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
It is necessary that I make an important point at this juncture. We must understand God's purpose in our lives. What is your role? I am tempted to rephrase the question - what is your purpose in life. On second thought it dawned on me that one is never in control of all aspects of his or her life. Do we will ourselves to be born, to be sick or to die? Do you believe in untimely birth and death? It cannot be untimely birth if a child lives. A natural miscarriage is a result of the will of God. Therefore, I am contending that the purpose in your life is ordained by God, whether you be terminally ill, deaf, blind, dumb, the survivor of a serious accident that left you crippled, it is God using you as an example to demonstrate how He takes care of those who are His and a further example to those who do not find themselves in such positions.
In everything those who know that their purpose is the will of God, can give thanks to God for using them to show to others what could be their fate. We must have a reference point. How often have you made that statement? It could have been me.
We shall not all enjoy the same level of joy and health in our lives. Some of us will be examples as Job was; but what I like most of all is how some of us deal with our circumstance. I refer to those who are able to turn negative into positive and smile.
Where is your faith? If your faith is built on a solid rock, you shall stand firm, otherwise you shall fall. It is that simple. Look around you - choose this day whom you will serve. Take care of your own salvation, judge not, lest you be judged. If you live long enough, you may be astonished by the state of those persons who were willing at one stage of their life to cast the first stone. Let us try to be faithful to the end, looking at the examples and pray it will never be our lot and in the end, let us truly die in peace.
If you want to be an example to your family and community - let your life shine that they may see. Some will never see because they are blind to that special light.
Unlike what some religious groups will have us believe, some of us are cursed from our birth and are moving swiftly ahead on the path of destruction. Others do not belong there but find themselves there as a result of their own decision to experiment with the devil's toys, such as drugs, etc. but because they do not belong to the family of the cursed, they are sucked out of that situation in the nick of time - "The Prodigal Son!"
We are fully aware that in our enlightened world, there are devil worshippers committing their lives to the devil as Bible believing people commit to God. There are those among us who are destined for good and others for evil. It takes a personnel examination to know on which side you are.
If you are born into the family of God, He knows this sheep and they know His voice. I have a difficulty in reconciling the Universal Call Doctrine but I am still open to debate on the issue.
In the meantime, it is interesting to note that St. Lucia is about to welcome Hinduism as a practicing religion. I will be at the launch of the Hindu Council in St. Lucia which will be in a few days time. I would sincerely hope that the leaders of this group will seek to inform and educate the population about the Hindu Religion so that we may learn more about religious diversity.
I am forecasting that as a result of this religious organization being launched in St. Lucia, the East will meet the West; all persons of Hindu decent will come closer together and to confirm my belief. The Hindus, whether right or wrong are a special people. You cannot become a Hindu. So I feel the same that you have to be born in the family of God. In short I subscribe to the elect doctrine as it is not by works I am called but by grace and if I am also to acknowledge my special state, I am motivated to be a disciple, I shall surely be given some stars in my crown.
Sometimes, I feel compelled to share my religious views as a lay person who seeks to confirm to the Gospel.
I do hope you will be motivated into action to read the Bible for yourself. Remember the Bible is not subject to any individual interpretation but you shall be led by the spirit in understanding those things which you are allowed to know and leave the mystery to God who will reveal to us in His time.Keep the faith! God is in Charge!
Edward Harris - ----- Free-lance Journalist