Monday, 1 January 2018

Come Away

Welcome to 2018.

In the last few hours of 2017 I spent some time thumbing through my bible trying to find a theme to define the New Year. Would it be a Year of New beginnings or of Resounding praise? Would it be the Year of Restorations or Healing?

As I read through verses in the book of Isaiah, I was inspired by the tenth chapter,” …that you may know me and believe me.” God’s desire is to have a stronger relationship with his children in this new year. He wants us to seek him with all our heart, to discover for ourselves who he really is.

Who is this God you worship? How well do you really know him? Is he the God of your fathers, therefore your faith is somehow inherited? Is he the God they taught you about in Sunday school? Why is he your God? Why do you believe him? My single mission this year is to rediscover God, to learn more about him and to build my trust in him. And as New Year resolutions go, this should be on top of your list too.

It’s a new day, it’s a new year, it’s time to remember your creator. Make a note to spend more time reading the bible and praying this year. Spend time building a relationship with God through worship. Let your hearts be renewed as you allow him shine his light through you and as you open up to the truth about the salvation that comes through his son Jesus. God longs for a relationship with us all, it’s time to come away from all that distracts you and find God. 

Further reading
Ecclesiastes 12: 1
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"

Isaiah 43;10
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Philippians 3:10
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”

Friday, 1 December 2017

Just family this Christmas

Someone once told me that the fear of being left alone forever is one of the greatest human fears on earth. It beats the fear of dying, being locked in a room with insects, or any other phobias we may have. The reason is simple: we are made for relationships.

From the beginning of time, humankind was made for companionship, so it’s only natural that we seek out the friendship of others. You can see it in the face of the little child who gets left out of the game on the playground, or in the eyes of the young woman who strives to be the centre of attention. People of all ages, races, and creeds have the same need: a deep desire for relationships.

Little wonder social media thrives. If you can’t find someone to relate to in person, you can simply connect remotely to others. The danger with that is that people can mask who they really are, and since you can’t judge them by their body language or tone of voice, you need to be extra careful about whom you let into your online personal space.

Finding the right people to interact with can be especially difficult at Christmas, one of the most joyful, yet often loneliest, times of the year, especially for those who have very little family in their lives. Well, the good thing is, family doesn’t have to be someone to whom you are connected by blood. Family can be anyone you connect with and allow into your life.

This Christmas, allow me introduce you to a bigger family, a loving one—a family of people who follow Christ. It’s okay, you won’t have to travel to meet them, or change your location to be with them. You are allowed to be yourself and act out in the presence of this family.

Expand your family this Christmas with the new HerSides mobile app. Whatever your race or age, you’ll most likely find someone like you here with whom to share your stories. Join the conversation on the Live chat to talk about your concerns or simply inspire someone.

Listen to encouraging words from busy godly moms as your jog or drive around while playing our Podcasts, and learn that you really are not alone in trying to have kids or raise the ones you have. Refresh your mind with godly articles from the Blog or just get the good news straight from the Bible as you sit waiting in that reception area or as you relax on the couch.

Post a Classified Ad to find new customers or a fun event happening near you. Follow the conversation on Social with live posts from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Invest in growing minds with inspiring fiction from the Bookshelf.

There is a place for everyone in God’s family. Download the new HerSides Mobile App to read about, connect, and engage with your wider family this Christmas.

Monday, 20 November 2017

How to accept others and still maintain your views

I hear people talk about tolerance and respect for the individual. These are great ideals that most organizations and leaders strive to instill in their people. I believe most of us want to be tolerant and accept others. But how can we accept people for who they are, especially when what they stand for contradicts our beliefs? That, I think, is the bigger question.

Take a moment to reason with me. We all have a set of beliefs that define us and constitute the guiding principles upon which our lives are based. These principles are the core of our very existence. They define. They direct. They instruct our every move. Most of these principles are deeply rooted in and intertwined with strong emotions. We may have adopted these principles because of our background or an experience we went through. They become a part of who we really are. In essence, they become us.

So, when we meet people whose fundamentals differ from ours, can we relate to them and accept them for who they are? How easy is it to do so? Often, it’s not very easy because a part of us will always want the other person to see life as we do, but they can’t. No two humans can be exactly alike. And if we are to relate to and live in peace with one another, then we need to develop coping mechanisms for living with the differences.

One coping mechanism is to try to avoid such people, but this won’t work since relationships are fundamental to human beings, and sometimes the differences in opinion occur with someone we dearly love. Another way to cope might be to try to re-align ourselves with the other person’s principles. Even this won’t work because we will be giving up a part of ourselves, and that’s almost impossible to do. Somewhere down the road, our human nature will rebel, and we will revert to who we really are.

So, what does work?

Find a common ground: I have discovered that an easier way to engage someone with a life perspective different than mine is to find something that we both agree on, and start with that. It may be something as basic as the weather. That’s easy enough and provides an initial basis for a decent conversation that can build up to something more significant.

Seek to see reason: You don’t have to change your own point of view or beliefs to see another person’s point of view; you just have to have an open mind. Listen, and try to understand why they do what they do—the driving force and the nuances in their bias. It’s interesting to see how much we learn about different aspects of life when we keep an open mind.

Respectfully establish your stance: There is nothing as frustrating as trying to be someone else. Once you have listened and understood why the other person acts the way they do, you can respectively state your stance. Without sounding judgmental or argumentative, you can simply say, ‘I appreciate your point of view, and here is mine also’. Truth be told, even if you say this to someone who loves to argue, the person would still try to convince you otherwise.

Pick your battles wisely: If you sense the other party is in the conversation simply to argue, then drop the subject, and move on to something else. Just as it may be difficult to convince you to change your position about something, it may be even more difficult to ask another person to do the same, so don’t bother. There is no point arguing. Just end the conversation. And at least you know what not to bring up at your next encounter with the person.

People and perspectives are as diverse as they come, and that’s the beauty of life— that we are all different. When we meet someone with a different view on life, our goal should be to enrich our lives by learning more about that person’s perspective and helping them do the same. Understanding breeds tolerance, tolerance breeds friendship, and friendship breeds posterity.

My two cents. I am sure you have some thoughts on this topic as well—maybe even better advice—so share it. We can all learn a thing or two from each other’s experiences. Subscribe for regular updates when I have a new post, or just follow on the go from your phone.

‘Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone’. Romans 12:18 (ERV)