Never stop till the end

Is there an end to studying?
With grey hair,
I want to be back in class;
I am hungry to learn;
To know some more;
I know it won’t be easy;
I will be slow;
But no problem with that;
The fast make it fast;
The slow make it slower;
What matters is to make it;
I will go at my pace;
But my target
Remains the winning point.
I want to win
Not by being first,
Or being second,
Or average,
But simply by crossing
The winning line.
Indeed, there is no end
To learning.
The bare truth is,
I shall never stop learning.

Send in the Doves

I took a reprieve from yard manicuring and sipped on a glass of tea. Without warning, three doves flew down to join me and fed on the seed my love scattered about the ground the previous day. They were only a few feet from my chair. Amazed and with exuberance, I surmised there must be a message in their trusting action. Am I being watched, I wondered? Is my every move being noted and written down for judgment day?

In scriptures, the dove is often used to represent aspects of God’s spirit, instructing our lives. It is a symbol of peace, but it held much more significance, for it affirmed Jesus as the Messiah. As John baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form like a dove – the anointing of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, other heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; Matthew 3:16

Also, Noah experienced a connection with these birds. Following the Flood, he sent out a dove. It flew out over the sea but then returned to the ark. Noah waited a week before he left it go again. This time…

“…the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.” Genesis 8:11

The third time Noah sent out a dove, it did not return, revealing the dove had found a new home on the land of the earth. The message here? God had made peace with the earth and mankind.

Image courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org

The Lord held doves in greatness. One biblical event describes Jesus angrily driving out all the merchants from the Temple, including “those who sold doves” to worshipers (John 2:16). The happiest of birds, it identifies and represents divinity and purity, as Jesus acknowledged by His anger.

So, do you think God sends in the doves to confirm our faithfulness or as a subliminal sign He is near? It’s easy to comprehend because, after all,  signs from God are clear as the day is long.

I want to share a personal event in my life. I married my wife on a beach in Destin, Florida. Standing on a platform next to the tall grasses and sand dunes, we recited our sacred vows. At the exact moment the Justice of Peace declared us man and wife, three doves flew out of the grass and over our heads. We will never forget it!

At first, we believed it was our deceased parents showing their approval, but now we view it differently – it was the Lord! To this day, His abundant blessings affect our life.

So, Lord, send in the doves! I built my sanctuary in honor of You. It gives me the strength for all things of which I can do to serve You better. I keep one eye on my blessings and the other on Your arrival. Standing like a soldier, I shall remain in prayer and feeding the doves You sent to watch over me this morning.

I love the days I can share Christ with all my readers. So many seeks the Lord, but He joins me in my daily thoughts. Call on our Lord, and He will send doves your way if you just have faith and pray.  What a merciful Father, don’t you agree?

Send in the doves, Lord, and baptize us with powerful wings and life ever after.

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The secret of making it big

It is a fact of life
That some people make it,
And some don’t;
And it is never an accident
When someone makes it
Big in life.
It is usually the result
Of doing
The right things.
This means,
What you need to do
To make it big.
The question is:
Why do some people do
The right things,
And some do not?
Of course, it is easy
To say:
Not everybody can do
The right thing;
Someone cannot do
the right thing unless
The person knows
What the right thing is.
And there is only one way
To know the right thing:
By learning;
A lot of people fail
In life
Because they do not learn
What it takes to succeed.
The brilliant ones invest
Their money in acquiring
The knowledge they need;
The foolish ones don’t;
The foolish ones fail,
The brilliant ones succeed.
So, to make it big,
And you have a right to it,
Learn what it takes;
Acquire the knowledge
You need;
That is the way to go.

Entitlement

Today’s society is bombarded with many slogans that portray us to be “deserving” of something. Such self-focused messages are:

            “You deserve a break today…” used by McDonald’s

            “You owe it to yourself…” used by cruise lines

            “Treat yourself to take the break you deserve” used by Hilton HHonors

In the dynamics of families and relationships, how many times have you graciously gave a gift and never received a “thank you” of any kind? How often have you heard the stories of parents passing away, and the children fought over the estate and money? If a sibling or parent is near their deathbed, do they deserve to be treated with respect if they never reciprocated love to family members in a state of healthiness? What if a husband and wife purchase a home with their hard-earned money – should their children feel entitled to the parent’s assets?

Within the business world, employees arrive late and perform their duties with little ambition. They demand pay raises and better benefits. Are they really deserving of it? Or, a parent scrapes and works hard to grow a business, and their grown children now believe they’re entitled to run it when the parent is deceased.

Churches also run into the same dilemmas when the congregation feels entitled to receive answers from their pastors or to hold positions within the house of worship. And, while I walk down the path of religious connotations, many believers feel deserving of God’s blessings. Speaking of this, do you know why much of humanity walks away from God and stops believing in Him? They prayed for an answer they wanted to hear and didn’t receive it. He was a means to get what they felt entitled to in life! Ironically, I believe our church leaders are responsible for this incorrect train of thought. They stand on the pulpit and preach God will meet all our needs and give them their desires if they pledge their soul to Jesus. The fact is our sin separates us from the Lord.

Entitlement is a dangerous walk in life – it’s Godlessness. Let me be frank here – God, parents, and employers owe us nothing. God blesses us with things because He wants to – an unconditional love of grace. A selfish demand for His generosity will reap no benefits. It’s that simple!

Jesus’ ministry spoke of loving others with a grateful heart. This includes treating each other with respect, even amidst our differences. The well-being of gratitude promotes healthy relationships, both in our walk with the Lord and relationships with others.

In the subject of parenting, fewer children today respect their elders. They ignore the recognition parents deserve for years of hard work and dedication to their families because they live in the “gimme, gimme” world. These generations are gifted with their heart’s desires, and they expect it from the parents. Thus, the slogans I mentioned at the beginning of the message above, come into play. As the children grow older, they feel entitled to life. Little do we know, it promotes laziness, ungratefulness, and the subject of this blog – entitlement. What are we teaching our children and others?

So, how can we live a life feeling less entitled to things and people?

•          Humbly give thanks to God for all we receive. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

•          Remember the grace of God, for Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We do not deserve to be treated with graciousness for our sinful attitudes, but the Lord’s love and grace reaches out to us, anyway. “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:3-5

•          Set your mind on eternity with the Lord and not on this world. Money and physical possessions mean nothing, for they cannot be taken with you to heaven. “But, as it is written, what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him…” 1 Corinthians 2:9

•          Continuously pray for discernment of entitlement. Why do I feel entitled, and how can I change this train of thought?

In summary of today’s message, expect little, receive with a grateful heart, and always give thanks. Give God the glory for your unexpected blessings!

Written by Anne Bicks, Editor and Marketing of Bicks Books LLC


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Feed your mind

Take your time
And feed your mind;
It needs
Food to eat
And water to drink;
So that it may grow;
And grow well;
Nourishing food
Is what it needs to eat;
And clean water
To drink;
Knowledge
Is the food
Of the mind,
But, just like
Not all food
Is good
For the nourishment
Of the body,
Not all knowledge
Is good
For the nourishment
Of the mind;
As you must feed your body
With nourishing food;
Do same with your mind;
Learn useful things;
Give your mind
A balanced diet;
Dont forget fresh air
And enough sunlight,
The crops will grow well.
And yield
An abundant harvest.
Your barns will be full.

Schools issue quarrel

Are you aware
Of this fierce quarrel?
I call it schools issue quarrel;
Whether schools should open, or they should not;
Whether children should go to school
Or stay at home?
Whether children should be learned
Or be illiterate
When they grow up?
An issue best appreciated
in context;
Education, no doubt is good;
But what do we do
When the context is a complicated one?
That is where
I and my people are.
Caught between a wild fire
And the deep sea.
We are in deep trouble;
May God help us!

Learning is critical

Have you found that learning is critical to success? Of that, I am certain.

Each time I take time and learn how to do something, I usually find it easier to do it; and the results I get are satisfactory.

On the other hand, each time I have dabbled into something important without having taken time to learn how to go about it, not only have I found it harder to do, but also, the results have not been pleasing.

This explains why I do encourage all my friends, readers and whoever I can to make an effort to put learning ahead of doing.

Take time to learn how to do whatever you want to do.

By the way, learning is a life long affair. If you stop learning, you stop growing.

It is important that no day should pass when you have not added to your stock of knowledge. By this I mean when you have not learned something new, be it a new word, a new idea, new fact, or a new way of doing things.

Ensure that you grow in knowledge everyday.

At the end of each day, you should be able to show to yourself one or two things that you learned.