Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Eyes on the Prize


When I read about the life of Moses, I imagine the dramatic tales of his days as they come to life in my mind. All he went through from the tumultuous experience of escaping death by the sword as a baby. To being cast into the river in a basket. To the trials of being a Hebrew prince in Egypt. A prince that was sent into exile.

The desert experience. Lost identify and a place to call home. The agony of returning to Egypt to stand against a group of people he once called family. All the things Moses endured physically and emotionally in his journey to becoming the man God used to deliver Israel. He became one of the most notable prophets, with a very great promise of entering a land of rest. 

He went through all of that and became all that just to lose it in a moment of weakness. In that moment, a subtle act of disobedience to God – and he lost it all. He lost the chance to enter the promised land. The ending of Moses’s tale is very humbling. A constant reminder of how easy it is to miss the mark when you take your eyes off the prize. No matter how brief it may seem, don’t take your eyes off the goal. Center yourself in the very essence of our faith- outright obedience to God.

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Stumble, Not Fall

I recently came across the seventh season of a crime and investigation series when I was flipping through the TV channels one day. As I was hooked after seeing only a few episodes, I decided to go back and watch the first six seasons on Netflix. Towards the end of the fifth season, there was a twist, and the writers started to introduce plots that made it seem like the lead character might die.

One episode was so direct that the main character was about to be blown to pieces by a bomb. My husband and I watched in suspense waiting for the inevitable. As we sat at the edge of our seats, holding our breath at the thought of what might come next, I suddenly remembered that there was no way this character would die today as I had seen her in the seventh season. I smiled, and told my husband to rest easy, our favourite character had a long and full life ahead of her. I could enjoy the remaining nerve racking scenes because I knew she would survive.

What a sense of relief you get from knowing that in the midst of uncertainty there’s an element of surety. The joy and satiety that come from knowing that even though you are in the dark about what happens next, God knows from the beginning how your story ends. So why fret, why worry about things you know or don’t, things you can change or can’t? It doesn’t matter what comes next. The end will be just fine.

One of my most beloved bible verses is Psalms 37:2324:

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

I love the fact that my steps are supported by the gracious and loving hands of God. Even when I don’t know for sure where I’m headed, and even if I stumble in the process of getting ‘there,’ I won’t fall.

Take a minute and think about that. Look at a scenario in your life right now that spells failure, and then change that thought for a moment and call it a stumble. Know for a fact that when you stumble, God reaches out to hold you to ensure it’s only a brief stumble. You won’t fall. The writer of your life does a better job than TV series writers, and the end of your story is good. Trust in God that you’ll only stumble, not fall.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Thrill of Living

We make everyday choices and hardly give it a thought. What clothes to wear, food to eat, taxi to take – mundane task that don’t require much brain power. We don’t think about it because they have become a natural part of our lives. We have done these simple tasks for such a long time that we can carry on doing them without giving much ado.  It’s now become a part of our lives. And that is fine.

With each passing day and as you master the chores of your life, there is a tendency to lose the thrill, to dissolve the anticipation of what another day brings and just carry on living. When 80% of what you do in your day life has become a routine how do you keep the thrill of living, the joy of change and the anticipation of the unknown tomorrow? 

‘Be thankful’ 

One of the ways I have found really helpful is keeping a grateful heart. To look at everything in your life, every day, and be grateful for the many gifts you have. I have found that being thankful helps you put lots of things in perspective. When you get out of bed in the morning be thankful you have air in your lungs. As you try to get the kids out of bed to get ready for school, while they protest getting out of bed, be thankful you can hear their cries. When you sit down to eat breakfast be thankful you have something to eat. When you ride the bus to work be thank you have a job to go to.

Take the time to view every simple moment, every casual activity, as an opportunity to be thankful. You will find your perspective begin to change. You will have a heart filled with joy, your mental and physical health will be boosted by the positive feeling in your body, your energy and productivity will increase because of the sense of privilege you have in the little things of life. Your outlook to life will improve as you anticipate your next moment to be thankful.

It’s a small thing to add on to your daily task but the return is worth it. Even when you find yourself in a tight situation, find something to be thankful for. It’s like turning on a flame; it will continue to burn until it consumes your entire being. Tune out the worries with a song of thanksgiving. Clear out boredom with a perspective on gratitude. Re-energize your life with a dose of joy. Take the time to be grateful and your life will be grateful you did. 

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”.
1 Thessalonians 5 verse 18

Friday, 1 September 2017

Mummy, I want to be a Superhero


I can’t count how many times my children have said “Mummy, I want to be a super hero”. Most kids between the ages of 4 and 11 want to be super heroes. Almost every young boy wants a super hero themed cake for his birthday. From t-shirts, birthday parties to lunchboxes, super heroes reign supreme. Children have this never-ending fascination with super heroes. To them, superheroes are “protectors of the universe” who fight villains or bad guys and save the world.

Jeff Greenberg a social psychology professor at the University of Arizona, says that the reason kids love superheroes is because they believe that superheroes are strong and powerful.  In the early part of their lives, children look up to their parents for love and protection. But as they grow up, they start seeking for role models (real and virtual) who embody the same power and positivity. Their belief in super heroes helps:
  • Kids to dare to be themselves, they believe they are born to be brave
  • Kids build confidence on the basis that super heroes can do the impossible
  • Kids learn about the difference between what is good and what is bad 

It is important that parents use their child’s fascination with fictional super heroes to teach them about real heroes. This particularly applies to the younger children who often can’t distinguish real people from fictional characters. As parents, it is our responsibility to help them understand how ordinary people of different ages, sizes, races, cultures, abilities, and religions become heroes based on what they have achieved, overcome or have been through. 

Superheroes of the Bible
Christian parents have a rich source of super heroes stories, look no further than the bible. You name the message to be conveyed and I can promise you that there is a good example or two in the Bible.  Examples that will teach them about real life super heroes and about God and his mighty works. Children love stories, and the timeless stories of the Bible speak to their young hearts and minds. “Bible heroes” are the best way to teach your children about courage, good virtues, heroism or even to correct their faults, shortcomings and mistakes.
9ijakids.com and the Bible Hero Games
9ijakids have gone one step further, we don’t just tell children stories, we use games as a platform for children to learn about and experience what it is to be a super hero. For us, games are not just for entertainment, it’s a powerful way to teach and re-enforce learning.  
9ijakids learning games:
  • Encourages children to learn biblical principles and remember them
  • Encourages children to pay attention while entertaining them
  • Educates children in an engaging and fun way
  • Are fun, fun and fun for kids and adults!

Research shows that that educational games help children between the ages of 3 and 7 to improve their vocabulary by as much as 30%, with a 9% increase in retention rate. In summary, wise parents invest in educational games to entertain, teach and help kids remember IMPORTANT STUFF!!!! What can I say about the “Bible Hero” game? It is a fun filled game to teach the kids about the mighty works God did through 10 bible characters including Esther, Gideon, Samson and of course David. Click on the trailer below for a preview of the game
Between now and September 2017, 9ijakids.com is giving 100 parents FREE access the Bible Hero games. Sign Up to www.9ijakids.com to be in with the chance for free access. 

About 9ijakids
9ijakids is a faith based educational resource. We use game based learning to teach kids the Bible, Values, Entrepreneurship and Academics. Visit 9ijakids website @ www.9ijakids.com to subscribe and play the Bible Hero game. You can also follow on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @9ijakids.