Do you ask yourself if you are on the right path?

How do we know what God intends for us to do?

This question has been around since Adam and Eve in early biblical times. Throughout the centuries, human beings have asked this question to one another. Do we find the answers in the bible? Do we join churches and listen to preachers and priests? How simple is it for us to know what God intends for us to do?

I approach answering this question from a different point of view. If we are attentive to our lives, we will find that God works within our present situation to guide and direct us. Allow yourself to be influenced by your present situation. Whatever your situation is, whatever problems present themselves at the present time, allow yourself the time to embrace these issues and take ownership of them. The more we fight our present situation and circumstances, the more the resistance we have to really knowing what God intends for us to do.

Let the problems of life become the vehicle to finding a solution. When confronted with problems, we don’t always have the foresight to see the solutions. The solutions only come through being in the problem in the first place.

Two years ago, I was asked to perform a different job role to my usual job role at work. I accepted it because I was encouraged to do the role yet it was something that I never really wanted. Months past and I continued in this role yet I never really embraced the role as a role desired because I kept seeing it as a temporary role and as a role that I never really wanted. Now when I reflect back over this period, I realise that my attitude towards this situation has been the very thing that has restricted me. God wants us to embrace the situations that we are in, not to fight them. We don’t really move forward and solve our issues by living in the past of regret or stubbornness. Only by embracing the present circumstances can we forge a pathway into something new.

One thing that I have realised is that holding myself back and wanting to return to the way things were is really an illusion. Life moves on, situations change, nothing exists exactly the same way. Change brings challenges and with challenges comes the opportunity to embrace the newness and to go with it. It is not a time to look back at the negative effects of change. Too easy to reflect on the hardships and the toll that it has had. It is not for us to dwell on things like this. God wants us to embrace these natural turn of events. God wants us to accept what life leads our way. Regardless of what comes our way, be it positive or negative, embrace it and allow spiritual direction to be energised. We miss so many enriching opportunities by closing ourselves off to change.

The walk of a Christian believer is on the road less travelled. We don’t necessarily take safe options. We allow ourselves to be moulded and guided through the events that come our way.

So next time you wonder what God requires of you, think of your present situation, embrace it, give thanks for it and allow yourself to be guided and then you will know what decisions are correct for you at the time.

No need to fight against change and to shove the problem aside. Instead embrace the change, accept the new problem and allow God to work his mysterious charm in the background.

Getting a clear picture

I was recently reading an article which mentioned that we need to get a clear picture of what we want in life, just like a photographer endeavours to get a clear focus of what he or she wants to focus on.

This raises the question of what do we choose to focus on. For some people this is a really hard question. Not everybody has a clear and distinct picture of what they want in life. This has forced me to reflect on this topic and I would like to share my insight.

In a nut shell, I believe in focusing my attention on God and then allowing God to become the photographer to create the picture for me rather than me create the picture. Therefore my wants and desires become secondary. I acknowledge my wants and desires and know that God is aware of them, however I focus my attention on praising God for my life and existence, and know that God will supply me with everything that i need, and more.

This approach focuses on trusting God to create the best picture possible. It involves becoming aware of God’s presence and knowing that I will be bumpered into the right situations just as the photographer guides and directs you into the right spots so that the best possible picture can be snapped.

So take a moment to praise God for your circumstances. Whatever your scenario is right now, praise God and know that God will bumper you into position just as a photographer moves you to the best possible position for the best possible picture. Become submissive to God. Whether you hate the life you are living right now or loving it, give thanks for it. Don’t worry about the outcome. Let God do the magic in the background. Let God choose the outcome. The photographer knows the best possible outcome. You are the object in the picture. You are part of a greater story that has a greater impact than you can imagine. Believe in possibilities and know that you will be bumpered into the best scenario just for you. This takes courage and guts to let go and to believe yet it is a journey filled with the unreal. Just as the servant was submissive to the master in biblical times, live this concept with God and know that God wants his kingdom to reign in your heart right now regardless of your circumstances.

You are loved and cherished. God never forsakes us. It is us who forsake our creator.

Affirmations and visualisations

​Have you ever wondered why you never seem to achieve the things in life that you consider to be important?

Some of us spend all of our lives wanting to lose weight, have more wealth, have no debt, have better relationships, have a purpose, feel happier. And so the list goes on. Yet for most people, they never seem to achieve their dreams. 

Today I want to give you some insight as to why some of these dreams never eventuate and then give you an insight as to how you can start to achieve your dreams with some simple mental exercises that can redefine the way you look at life.

Many years ago I was fortunate to listen to a series of cassette taps by a man of the name of Lou Tice (Director and Founder of The Pacific Institute). Lou has since passed away but he has left a legacy in the form of an organisation that spans the world assisting organisations and individuals in the pursuit of excellence.  In 2009, his organisation has helped transform Air New Zealand into a competitive and highly progressive company. This has been achieved in part through a focus on staff. Approximately 96 % of staff volunteered to take part in a training programme run by the Pacific Institute. Put simply, enlisting the Pacific Instutute was a way of changing the mindset of the staff so that transformation would be positive and effective.  If we change our mindset thinking and assist in changing the mindset of our staff then the possibilities for creative and effective change is endless.

Mindset thinking is the focus of today’s presentation. Change your mindset thinking and you can achieve the unimaginable. Assist in changing the mindset thinking of the masses, and you can achieve endless possibilities. This is not new information. Politicians use it. Religious leaders use it. Revolutionaries have used it too. For an organisation to truly flourish and display excellence in every way, it needs to have a common thread of mindset thinking. Regardless of what activities we do or what changes we impliment, if we don’t have a common mindset approach to our business we are likely to wilter like a beautiful flower that is starved on water.

There are two components to changing your mindset thinking, affirmations and visualisations.  Both of these components are essential for lasting change to the way your mindset thinking alters. We all practice affirmations whether we recognise it or not. Have you ever heard a staff member say things like ‘I’m hopeless with computers’ or ‘I always seem to get the cranky doctors’ or ‘Everytime I go into this programme, it freezes’.  Say these things often enough and you are stating an affirmation. Visualise it happening and you are re inforcing the affirmation. Some of us practice these affirmations without even realising it. Unconsciously we reaffirm affirmations on a daily basis. Have you ever heard teenagers say things like ‘I hate life; I never get what I want’ or have you ever heard others say ‘ I can’t lose weight. It is impossible for me. My metabolism is too slow’. Or statements like ‘I never have any money.  As soon as I get paid, it is gone.’  And so the examples can go on and on.  Even as business leaders, we can subconsciously support affirmations that don’t benefit the organisation. Statements like ‘nothing ever really changes around here. We have been through this before. We go round in circles’ or statements like ‘there is no hope for changing of some people. They only think of themselves’ or ‘nothing will ever change’.  These are all affirmations whether we consciously think of them or not. 

Take a moment to think of this statement.

****What we think about comes about.*****

From my experiences and the advice of others such as Lou Tice from the Pacific Institute, this is so true. Think about something often enough and visualise it happening enough and what you think about is likely to come about.

Take stock of your self talk and know what you are reaffirming on a daily basis. If your marriage is an issue, what is your self talk? Are you subconsciously saying things like ‘my marriage sucks’. ‘I hate the way he treats me’ or ‘she never thinks about my feelings. I might as well be a part of the furniture.’  Are you adding another nail in the coffin by saying things that destroy rather than build? Analysis your thoughts at work as well and critique them. Are they assisting to build up the team or are they dismantling?

Self awareness is the first step towards getting what you want out of life. And what one person wants out of life could be completely different to what another person wants, so we need to be aware of this.  Not everybody is motivated by money. Self achievement is one of the biggest motivators in life. 

So with this in mind, I want you to consider some simple exercises that can turn your life upside down and produce changes that make a difference.
Think of an aspect of your life that is a difficulty at present. It could relate to work, your personal life and something else. If work is an issue, identify what the issue is. Is it an issue relating to an individual or is it an issue relating to the content of your tasks. Is work stressing you out? Is there too much to do and too little time? Take a moment to reflect on your feelings and thoughts. What is your self talk saying.  Write it down. Don’t edit your thoughts. Let them be spontaneous without correcting them.

Now that you have started this process, look at what you have written. Can you turn this around to a positive affirmation?

So saying something like ‘there is never enough time in my day to get stuff done’ could be changed to indicate a different response like ….

‘I always find a way of getting everything done’

Now before we go any further, I need to help you identify the logic in what we are doing here.

There are two aspects to this process of changing the way you think and feel about things. Firstly there is the conscious side of our lives and secondly there is the subconscious side. Think of the conscious side of our life like you would if you were looking at a flowering plant or the surface of an ocean. Sometimes the ocean is calm and at other times it is consumed by wind and rain. As with a flowering plant, sometimes it is in flower and other times not. Now the subconscious side of life is the side you don’t see. It is what lies beneath the soil. It is the nutrients, the moisture, the particles of soil. As with the ocean, the depths of the ocean have fish, rock, terrains, cavities, reefs and plants. We don’t see this side.

To change our inner beliefs and to change the way we think, we need to work on the subconscious. Affirmations move us into the depths of our ocean. Affirmations give the flowering plant the nutrients to flourish.

The subconscious is the driving force behind what we do and why we do it. It is the child within that has been cultivated over the years to respond the way it sees fit. So if the way you respond to something isn’t the way you want it to be, then change it. Create an affirmation to incite a new way of being. This new affirmation has to be nurtured and looked after just as you would a flowering plant. It could take years to see the fruits of your labour, yet in some cases it might only take a short while to see results.

Put simply, control your self talk and you are nuturing your inner self, your subconscious.

Say your affirmation as much as you can. Visualise it happening. See yourself being the person that you want to become and one day it will become a reality.

Affirmations might feel awkward and silly. Others might laugh at them. They will go against your gain yet it is only through this constant re enforcement and visualisation that real changes happen.

So lets get started with your first affirmation.

‘I love creating positive affirmations and I say them to myself all the time.’

God gives you what you need rather than what you want

​There is a difference between what you need in life and what you want in life.

When I think back over the years, I can definitely say that I have rarely gotten what I want but I can definitely say that I have been given what I need. Now I say this from a Christian perspective. God is ever present in my life and forever working in the background to mould and guide me along the spiritual pathway. Without a doubt, I know that God will only give me what I need in my life in order to help me become the person I am meant to become. 

Not everybody sees life like this. Some get what they want because they are self driven and determined to make things happen. There is nothing wrong with this approach. The individual person is the self motivator and self determining factor in the success of their lives. Many people live successful lives and contribute to the betterment of society by approaching life this way.

Yet as a Christian believer, I see my life in a slightly different manner. I am in partnership with God. I have a belief that my life is being moulded and fashioned by God. Therefore whatever I want is not necessarily what I need. I relie on God to guide and mould me into the type of person I need to become.

There was a time in my life when my wife and I pursued a home based network marketing business. I so much wanted this business to succeed. I invested my time, energy and money into it. I desparately wanted it to work yet it never even got off the first base. As much as I wanted it to succeed, it showed no signs of growth. Years later I reflected on this experience and I realised that it was not something that I was meant to succeed in. Put simply, it was something that I wanted to succeed in, yet it was not something that I needed to succeed in. There were aspects of the business which didn’t fit with my way of being and that was never going to change.

Once we acknowledge God as a part of our lives, then there becomes a distinction between what you need and what you want. Once we invite God into our lives, we are inviting assistance and guidance. Just as a parent might decide what is best for their child so too does God decide what is best for us.

In the bible there is the story of the blind man who came to Jesus and asked for his sight. The blind man wanted his sight. Eventhough he was blind since birth, he still wanted his sight to be restored. Most people would have given up and not even given a thought to asking Jesus for their sight considering that blindness was from birth. Yet this blind man wanted his sight. Jesus recognised this man’s belief that his sight could be restored. Jesus gave him his sight not because he wanted his sight but because he needed his sight because of his belief in God’s power.

God will give us what we need. If giving us something helps foster the growth of the Kingdom of God here on earth, then it is a need. Wants can be selfish yet wants that nurture growth of the Kingdom of God here on earth are needs.

So next time we want something, is it drawing us closer into God’s Kingdom.

What perspective on life do you have?

Have you seen the picture of the old lady, young lady?

image

Some people look at the drawing and see the image of an old lady. Others look at the drawing and see the image of a young lady. Neither interpretation is wrong. Both are correct. Depending on the way your brain perceives the initial exposure to the image will determine the end result.

Let me for a moment use this example to highlight something else. 

Daily we are faced with decisions. Some decisions seem minor and insignificant. Others have the potential to be major and to alter the course of our future. It is the major decisions that cause us the most concern.  Some will say that our future success or security might depend on making the correct decisions.

Just as there is no incorrect interruption of the young lady old lady drawing, I believe that there is no incorrect decision when it comes to our life choices. Most people will strongly disagree with me from this point onwards but I want to challenge you to step back and see your life’s choices from another perspective.

Once you acknowledge that God is instrumental in changing you in your life, then the way you interrupt things changes. Regardless of the decision you make, you only need believe that God will use everything in your life and the life of others around you to bump you in the right direction. Therefore you end up in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. And this course of action is taking you on a journey which is devinely inspired.

I realise that 99 percent of the population wil disagree with this approach but it has been an approach that I continue to use and continue to gain reassurance from as I move forward.

God doesn’t always jump out in front of us and present a clear answer for making decisions. Most of the time we only need keep moving forward and believe that we are only part of the picture. Consider yourself to be similar to a dodgem car. You just apply the momentum and the car will be bumped into place.

Life’s choices can take you anywhere but knowing that God is like your own PA (Personal Assistant), this is what makes the striking difference. Once you embark on this journey of adventure, there is no turning back. Faith is needed. God becomes your personal GPS navigator and you will begin to realise along the way that you are definitely in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. There will be no need to try and find signs and symbols. They will jump out at you. There will be no need to try and work things out nor will there be the need to seek the assistance of prophecies. All you need do is to have faith that God is guiding you regardless of your decisions and be prepared to be spoken to.

Without going into specifics, I have had moments when I have made decisions to do things and at the time could see no real devine purpose in that decision.  I had continued to believe that God uses everything in our lives to make a difference and then just when I don’t expect it, something stands out in front of me like a road sign. It becomes obvious. There is no misinterrupting the message. The light bulb is switched on. My brain suddenly sees the old lady interruption of the drawing and realisations happen.

God works through everything to bring about change in us and change in others. If you have faith and believe in this approach, then you need never worry again. All is taken care of. All is secure.

This is why I praise God for everything. Make no mistake about it. Praise is the engine room that makes things happen. Praising God for everything is the fuel to keep our dodgem car moving forward. Without praise, we stall and lose momentum and life’s choices become harder and we fall back into the trap of being self sufficient rather than devinely sufficient. So take a different perspective on your Christian life and see it differently. Make your decisions decisively and expect to be guided.

You are only part of the solutuon; God is the rest, so give priase daily and know that you are being looked after.

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Heal, but not too quickly

Just when I sometimes think that old habits have been conquered and I am no longer subjected to temptations, something happens and I am reminded of my weaknesses all over again. Some of our biggest struggles in life can take the longest time to change. I have realised more and more that God allows these struggles to exist. It is only  through these struggles that we can begin to realise just how dependent we are on devine help.

It is no accident that some struggles seem to never leave us. Think of it like this. The struggle is the cross in our life and it is only through the cross that we are born into eternal life. Jesus died on the cross. The cross was necessary. The cross was the agony. The cross was something that Jesus had to accept in his life.

We need to openly accept our cross in life. Whatever the struggle that plagues you, see it as a necessary part of redemption. Even when you are battling to cope or trying to avoid the way you deal with some situations, give gratitude for these moments. Take time to give gratitude for this cross in your life. Integrate it into your life as a necessary moment. Believe that it is only through God’s grace and intervention that this cross can be taken away. Only God has the power to rise you above your cross and to raise you. We need to die to our struggles and know that when the time is right, we will be delivered from these struggles.

So next time you struggle and beat yourself up over your failures to change habits or to act the way you desire, take a moment to thank God and to embrace your ugliness, and believe that God wants you to feel the pain of your cross. God wants you to feel your shame, to feel your guilt, to feel your regret. Embrace these feelings and give thanks for them.

Resurrection from our struggles only comes through God. The stain of our humanity in our lives is only washed away by the intervention of our creator. Believe that you are being taken care of. Regardless of how many times you fail. Regardless of how many years it takes to change, give gratitude and thanks for these moments and know that God is working in the background to do what might seem the impossible.

God is not a Gentleman.

God allows us to be firmly nailed to our cross for as long as God sees fit.

God wants us to be healed but not too quickly.

Never forget that it is God who is does the healing, not us.

Remember these things next time you struggle and know that God will release you from this burden in God’s time, not ours.

How do you deal with the unexpected?

Unexpected events happen but how do you deal with them?

Do you freak out and panic if the unexpected event is a disappointment?

I must admit that it would be really unusual for a person not to freak out when something unexpected arises. Death, sickness, loss of income, loss of a relationship are just some examples of events that can disturb us.

Sometimes I think that I am really resilient especially when everything is going well, but as soon as something doesn’t go so well, my world is shaken. It is at these times that I am forced to reflect on my insecuritites. Suddenly I feel vulnerable. I feel my inadequacies. I feel scared. My foundations are shaken. My human fragile nature is exposed.

When I reflect back over the years, I have always been guided through these moments. Underlyingly, I have always believed that God is there gently guiding me and directing me through whatever hardships surround me. This is the time to once again take stock of my life and to know that God is here guiding me with purpose. Nothing happens by accident. Unexpected events are turning points. They exist with a purpose. They shift us and our direction. They have a reason, yet at the time of their occurrence, they are seen more as a burden than an aid to growth.

Our faith in God has to be tested at times. We only grow in faith through adversities. Just as a blind man relies on his instincts and on his dog for guidance, so too do we need to rely on God’s word to see us through.

I have said this many times, and it deserves being said again and again. We need to always acknowledge God’s love for us and to believe that we are being taken care of regardless of the circumstances. So whatever the events, however difficult life gets, we always need to give thanks and praise for everything that comes our way. Good springs up from everything. God uses everything in our lives to direct us along a pathway that is especially designed for us. We cannot avoid the disappointments because it is precisely through these disappointments that we are going to discover a new lease on life. It is precisely through these times of vulnerability that we are going to rediscover our connection of love with God. Our relationship with God grows at its best when life is difficult. It is through these times that we learn to become more dependent on our creator rather than on ourselves.

God loves us dearly yet we ignore our relationship with God most of the times.

Give thanks and praise for your hardships and setbacks. Use the power of praise to once again hand over the reigns of control to our creator. Let God take over our direction and sit back and see where it will take us.

God has always promised to take care of his children. We are children of God. All we need do is to trust in faith that we are being taken care of, regardless of the circumstances.

Praise God right now for your hardships. Thank God for this moment and for everything that has gotten us to this point in life. Believe in God’s protection. Know that everything will be okay. Know that God intervenes. Know that assistance will come your way to prove that God is here at hand for those that have faith.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Always give thanks and know that the doors will be opened.

How do you deal with your frustrations?

How do you deal with your frustrations? Is everything sailing along nicely? Do you feel stressed by situatuons around you? Are you coping with the way you are?

If you answered yes to feeling frustrated and no to coping, then perhaps this article is for you.

Frustrations, stress and inability to cope are more common than we think. We can go to work and rub shoulders with others and believe that they feel differently, yet in reality most people feel frustrations, stress and feelings of inability to cope. It is a part of our human experience, yet does it need to be held onto? Do we need to feel these feelings for extended periods of time? Do we need to feel stressed all the time and focus on our perceived inability to cope?

Sometimes we can find ourselves being drawn into the problems of our lives. They seem to take over and have the effect of depriving us of sleep, causing headaches, ageing us, causing us to react, affecting our relationships and distracting us from what we believe we should be fosused on. Have you ever thought that some aspects and difficulties of our lives are never going to disappear? Have you ever wondered how you are ever going to rebalance your life and live it with a peaceful mind?

If this is the way you feel and think, then perhaps what I am about to say might have some meaning.

Imagine yourself to be a mountain climber. Imagine that you have always dreamed of climbing Mount Everest. Mount Everest is the one thing in life that you have always wanted to accomplish. It is your ideal sense of achievement. You have dreamt about it as a kid growing up. You have heard mountaineers talk about it and imagined yourself doing what they have done. You have heard about the hardships and the disappointments as well but mostly you have heard about the sense of achievement of chasing your goals and of living your passion. You never really think about the hardships of the adventure because you want the accomplishment so much. Your passion and your desires take over. You become enthralled by your quest and you go to work planning and training for it.

Once you embark on this journey and strive towards your goals, hardships appear, obstacles arise, distractions happen, yet you continue to push on because the desire to achieve your goal far outweighs the hardships and obstacles. They are a part of the journey. The journey doesn’t exit without these hardships and obstacles.

See your life a bit like the journey of a mountaineer. The frustrations, the headaches, confusion and the mixed up feelings are a part of your journey in life. We can’t avoid them. They are part of the journey. Perhaps you know what inspires you, perhaps you don’t. Either way, hardships will arise.

The key to managing all of these mixed up feelings and emotions is to give thanks and gratitude for them. Give thanks for the way your life is at present. Regardless of the moment, see this moment as a part of the journey. Even a mountaineer can become blinded by a blizzard and disoriented by lack of oxygen. These moments are unavoidable if you desire to continually climb high mountains.

Regardless of whether you acknowledge the existence of God or not, simply acknowledge the existence of spiritual connections. There are enough things going on in life to point to this connectivity. Acknowledge that the highs and the lows are equally important in your life when it comes to your journey. Loving the highs and hating the lows don’t help this journey. A mountaineer who hates the hardship is never likely to make his or her dreams a reality.

So I put it to you today. If you are feeling down and depressed or upset with life, take a moment to reflect and thank God for this moment. Say these words to yourself.

‘Thank God for this moment in its perfection’

Even if you find it almost impossible to say, think it, recite it. Know that those words encompass the full meaning of our existence. Take a bird’s-eye view of life and know that anything that you are going through right now is meant to be. You cannot avoid the hardships regardless of how long you experience them or not. What we can choose to do is this. We can either lay down and die, and die a slow painful death or we can embrace the hardship and know that we will get through it. What lies beyond that hardship is yet to be encountered. A person of faith knows that joys and pleasures will always follow.

So just as a mountaineer pushes on knowing that great things lie beyond the pain, so too do we need to push on and thank God for this moment in its perfection and know that the journey will always have something incredible awaiting us.

Who is God? Is God a figment of our imagination.

Who is God? Is God a figment of our imagination

Most people will think that God is a figment of our imagination. They will consider it as child’s play to believe in this concept. Yet regardless of how we refer to this supernatural entity, there does exist, beyond doubt a spiritual connection which permeates throughout our existence.

Recently my sister died. She struggled with severe early dementia for approximately 9 years. In the beginning, it was not so obvious, yet as time passed, she lost all of her abilities to play the piano, to cook, to talk and eventually to swallow. She was only 2 years older than me.

During the last two weeks of her existence, we had to sit back and watch her starve to death. She was no longer able to be fed or to take fluids. We were waiting for her body to shut down. It was soul destroying seeing this happen. We would never allow an animal to go on living in this state. We would put the animal out of its misery.

Yet something incredible happened throughout her final days. The night before she died, my wife sat with her and held her hand and prayed for her. She blessed her with holy water which had been sealed in a container since 1970. This water came from a stream in France at Lourdes, a sacred place where a miraculous vision had appeared many years ago.

She seemed calm after my wife prayed over her. Her face was tranquil and she seemed to be in a better state. The next day she died while alone with her husband of 40 years marriage last month.

The funeral arrangements were made. I got together with my brother in law and decided to travel to the cemetery where he had decided to bury her. He wanted to bury her in the same cemetery as the cemetery that my parents were buried in. He found a burial plot for her which just happened to be near where my parents were buried. Somebody had just resold their plot back to the administrators of the cemetery.

My wife and I decided to have a look at the burial plot after the purchase. We noticed that it was only a few metres away from my parent’s plot. I walked over to my parent’s plot. I looked down at the plaque on my parent’s grave. There before me was my father’s date of death. It was Friday 10th June 1994. The day I was looking at the plaque was Friday 10th June 2016, 22 years on exactly.

I was amazed. I had completely forgotten about the anniversary of my father’s death. I was drawn to his grave site that day.

My father’s grave site is approximately 110 klms away from where I live. I have never been back to his grave site on the date of his anniversary in the past 22 years.

On my return back home that evening, I decided to look at my father’s death certificate. The date is his burial was 15th June 1994. The date that my sister was planned to be buried was the 15th June 2016 exactly 22 years on.

My brother in law asked me to arrange the funeral ceremony. We needed a photo of my sister for the service booklets. He had over 2500 photos of my sister. He was an amateur photographer who was always taking shots. He sent us a photo of her. It was one of his favourites. My wife looked closer at the photograph and noticed a date on it. My brother in law recorded digital dates on each of the photographs.  The date was 16th June 1976, the date of her birthday, some forty years ago. My sister’s birthday was the day after her burial.

Seeing is believing. My sister’s death was timed to perfection to show me that the spiritual world is alive and well. My sister was spiritual. She was a believer of the supernatural. She felt spiritual connections.

I now know that my father’s spirit was drawing her to him. They were close. My father loved her dearly and was so proud of her. He died of a heart attack and she was never able to attend the funeral because she was pregnant and about to give birth.

I now know that her passing away was perfectly timed. Her spirit left her body at the perfect moment. It was not for us to alter that timing.

I might refer to God as if he were some mysterious being, but in reality it doesn’t matter how I explain God. There is a spiritual connection in life. Please don’t ignore these connections. The spirit world is trying to connection to all of us. Don’t let the signs slip by. Recognise them for what they are. Believe that you are being guided. Everything has its perfect timing. Just as my sister departed in perfect timing, so too does a new human being become formed in perfect timing.

Life is a gift. Lets be thankful for every single moment and believe that we are being guided just as my sister was being guided to her physical death.

I am so fortunate to have experienced this significance. God has given me a gift. God has given me an insight into eternal life.

We are not alone.

Discover your spiritual life

Lately I have been forced to reflect on my life and to take notice of some of the events that have guided me to this point.

When I reflect back over my life, I generally see my life as a spiritual journey. Some people look back over their lives and see their lives from other perspectives. Some see their lives from the perspective of achievements or failures or material success or material failure. Some can proudly give gratitude for having raised a successful family, yet others will nearly be brought to tears for remembering years of hardship, broken marriages, failure to financially succeed or even loss of identity.

From the perspective I take, these past impressions mean little unless they are interwoven into a spiritual understanding.

When I reflect back over my life, I remember the spiritual turning points more than actual events.

I remember my first religious experience. At the age of nine, I remember visiting a religious grotto in a garden attached to a convent. I went there occasionally after school because I found peace and tranquility. I hated school in those days and the religious nuns were extremely tough teachers. They scared me, and their demeanor caused me to be drawn to a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, which was located in this convent grotto. So at the age of 9, I remember visiting this grotto and kneeling there praying to Mary, asking for help. I felt understood by Mary. I felt comforted and loved. The irony of this situation amazes me. The religious nuns were sent from Ireland to educate catholic children and to teach them about God’s love yet it was through their demeanor that I was drawn to God, quite by accident.

This was my first religious experience. It has stayed with me over the years and has formed the basis of my earliest understanding. I started being drawn to God. From that time onwards I was hoping and trusting that my problems would be taken care of.

Over the years I have drifted in and out of trusting God with my problems. There were many years where trust was non existent on my side. Yet this took a turn for the better when I discovered a little book called ‘Prison to Praise’ by Merlin Carothers.

It was in September of 1983 that I walked into a religious book store in the city of Melbourne. There on the book shelf was this little book called ‘Prison to Praise’. For some reason, I picked it up, looked it over and was interested enough to buy it. I bought that book, read it, and was captivated by it.

I applied what I leanrt from Merlin Carothers and almostly immediately experienced changes in my life. That book came into my life at a time when I was facing a lot of insecurity. My life was about to change and I was so preoccupied and scared. I feared for the future, yet when I applied what Merlin Carothers taught, amazing things started to happen. The pathway became clearer. Things happened around me and I became more courageous.

Years passed since I first read that book and I added to it by purchasing other books by the same author. He always captivated me with his simplistic understanding of how to live life. Praise was the basis for change. Praise was the vehicle which gave me the momentum to leave worry at the front door. These thoughts never left me yet there were times when I slipped into faithlessness and became distracted by the thoughts of modern society. For many years to follow, I was distracted from the truths that I had originally discovered, until eventually through desperation, I picked up that little book one morning in the hope of revisiting that energy that I once knew of. The morning that I chose to pick up that little book once again was the 7th September 2013.

On that day when I picked are that book, there was an old membership card sitting in it. The card had my wife’s photo on it. It was a yearly membership card to a local amuzement theme park. On it was the date 7th September 1998. I was totally amazed. What were the chances of me picking up that book exactly 15 years later to the date? Wow. I was blown away. I knew right there and then that I was being called by God to believe every word that Merlin Carothers preached. God was giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity to believe and this was it. There was no turning my back on this one. It was time to believe.

I marvelled at my discovering, and I reflected back to the time that I first discovered that little book, back in September of 1983. It suddenly hit me that September 1983 was 15 years earlier than 1998. OMG were the only words that I could come up with. Wow! Thirty years earlier, God had guided me into a book store to discover a book that was to become the basis of my spirituality.

I was left with no doubt that God was guiding me to accept some home truths. I do not need to work things out anymore. God will provide answers and directions. I do not need worry anymore. God knows my concerns and will answer them. I do not need feel disadvantaged in any way. God will give me everything that I need. And finally, life will never be the same again.

Truly, God has chosen me to believe. I have no doubt now. I believe in the most unbelievable of situations, God is working behind the scenes. And God is! I have been blessed, and I thank God for everything in my life – the good, the bad and the ugly. Once we praise God for everything in our life, God goes to work to make better of our situation and the situations of others.

So if you find yourself lost or searching for meaning, start by simply praising God for everything in your life. Do it without failure. Practice it daily. Do it even when it feels ridiculous. Do it when you feel insecure. Do it when fears are present. Do it without hesitation. Believe that this simple action is your invitation in prayer to invite God into your life and to work with you and with others to bring about a life that you are meant to live.

God loves us so intensely. God knows our concerns and God will not disappoint. All we need do is show gratitude.