Potty training

I learn every day even from activities I rate as “not that important”.  Summary of potty training my 2+ year old daughter:

Morning of Day 1: Few minutes after she woke up, we went to the “ladies” and I encouraged her to sit on her potty. After about 15 minutes, she managed to do number 2 business. Same result on days 2 to 4. I made a decision – “I will persist, I choose not to be frustrated”.

Morning of Day 5: We followed same routine, result was a successful number 1 business. Hooray! But we had to wait an extra 10 minutes before the show. And it was hard to resist the temptation of telling an innocent child to hurry up, but I persevered. Same results for next many days.

Morning of Day 12: She woke up and said, “Potty” and she did her Nos 1 & 2 businesses. This has carried on for many days afterwards. It became her habit. Unprompted, she indicates her need to use the potty – goal achieved/intended outcome.

My persistence, patience & consistency levels were challenged yet again and the exercise further  reinforced the truths below.

“If I do something repeatedly and continuously, it becomes an habit.

“If I could exercise a little bit of more patience, I will realise the intended results”.

“Success is end result of a long series of little things, done consistently over time” ( Jeff Olson)

#be consistent to a cause.

Lot and Abram

My hubby and I had an interesting  discussion tonight. We studied Abram and Lot’s story, Genesis 13, at the point where they had to separate because they both had lots of flocks, herds and tents and the land could not contain them.

To let you know, Abram was Lot’s uncle. Lot lived with him post his parent’s death. I am sure Abram loved him as his son. When Abram was instructed by God to leave  his family and go to a land built by God, he took Lot with him.

Abram had “the blessing” on him and I am sure it rubbed off on Lot too- lots of flock, herds and tent etc.

In Gen 13, Lot’s herds men picked quarrels with Abram’s. Abram’s reaction was to call his young cousin and said, “Guy, we need to separate. We don’t need to quarrel, we are brothers. See the large expanse of land before us. Please choose the region you like and I will go the opposite direction”. Mr Lot became an instant surveyor; he choose the well watered land and left the seemingly dry ground for his uncle. His dearest uncle who was his foster-father. That is disrespectful, I think.

Analysing Lot based on my perspective and cultural influence:

Firstly, I think Lot should have cautioned and reprehended  his herdsmen. Basically he should have said, “have you forgotten where thou was hewed?  Stop all this nonsense and ‘respect yourselves'”.

Secondly, even if he was offered the blank cheque, he should have said, “Daddy, thank you. With huge respect, please choose first”.

Analysing Abram:

How could he had been so cool about it? I mean, Abram took care of Lot and you could almost say he owned whatever Lot owned. Yet Lot’s herdsmen had the effrontery to speak with his men. But see Daddy Abram’s good spirit, he said, “please don’t let us fight”.

Also when he suggested that Lot choose and he chose a better land, I (if I were Abram) would have reacted in a way that Lot would clearly see how displeased I was. Yet, it was not recorded that Abram yelled or narrated chronicles of Lot.

Abram’s disposition challenges me. Think about it – are you quick to recount how you loaned Miss X or Mr J on days when, for some reason, they don’t behave as expected? Or how you helped Mr M get a job and he did not appreciate you. Or how you fostered a child who seldoms get in touch with you anymore? Very painful experience, yes I can imagine.

This is why the Lord says, “whatever you do (deed or word), do as unto the Lord not for man” Col 3:17, 23

Ready to serve?

The stories below made me ponder on my “faith journey” specifically the call to serve.

Story A. On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is your guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover”. Mark 14:12-16

Question: Was the owner expecting a request from the Lord or was he just prepared and ready to serve at his Lord’s beckon and call? Perhaps he had planned engagements to take place in the guest room which he cancelled?

Story B. “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ” They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. Mark 11:2-7

Question: The colt was tied by someone, the owner. I assume the owner was among those standing by otherwise, it seems an awkward place to tie an animal.

Was the owner expecting a request from the Lord? Or was he just prepared and ready to serve his Lord at any time required and with anything? In this case, a virgin colt- none ever rode on it.

A call to serve. Service to the less privileged; motherless and fatherless;  those in need of words of encouragement.

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matt 25:40.

Woman at the well

While thinking deeply on the story of this woman at the well (John 4) who according to her testimony, had been married five times and the man she was putting up with at that moment was not her husband.

So I begin to wonder, were the man of old so adulterous that they picked and chose as they wished or was “coming together” based on convenience and good times such that when the tide turns, they let go. For my selfish reasons, all my fingers pointed to the six men (I presume the sixth one will send her packing too).

But hang on, there are two sides to a coin! When I was younger and still with my parents, I failed an examination.  My parents comforted me by saying, “It is okay. It is your first attempt and you were not familiar with the questions and time management”. I attempted the examination again the following year and failed. My parents said, “Oh well, your grades are better than last time, though not up to the pass mark, and we are aware the examination board raised its standards this year etc”. I attempted the third and failed. My parents said, “Surely you must be doing something wrong. There are individuals who passed in flying colours”!!! Between, I passed it eventually.

Back to the woman at the well. What was it about her that repulsed men? Was she critical of men by pulling them down? Was she constantly nagging?  Did she submit? Was she respectful? Was she helpful around the house? Was she lazy? Was she dirty? Did she contribute to home-making? Was she accommodating? Was she so sociable that she forgot her wifely duties? Was she prayerful? Did she demonstrate any of the Prov 31 woman’s qualities?

The above is one perspective. Some might argue that she kept re-marrying because her husbands died in famine or warfare. Some might say it was a curse that was put on her.

What is your excuse?

Caleb was about 40 years old when he, Joshua and 10 others were sent by Moses to spy the promised land -Canaan. For 40 years, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness just so that God could deal with some of the disobedient (as I detailed in my last post). By mathematical calculation, Caleb was 80 years old when they got to the promised land. At 85, which I believe was last leg of his years on earth, he went to Joshua and demanded for his share of the inheritance.

“‘I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country (Hebron) that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.’
So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war. “ Joshua 14:12-15

Caleb saw himself as God saw him. He called himself what God called him. At that age, he could have said, “now I am old, I have little strength to go on. My children will go on to drive away the Anakites. They have my blessing.” No! He was self motivated and relentless. Note that he did not settle for the plains, he made a choice of a hill country. Not only that, the country belonged to the greatest giant. Oh my! What a courage!

Like Jeffrey Gitomer wrote – “Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”

And Jordan Belfort wrote – “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the cock and bull story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

Let’s do a soul search. What dreams have you stopped pursuing?

A glimpse of your promised land

Caught a glimpse of your promised land – what is your report?

Twelve spies were sent to spy the land of Canaan. They (excluding Caleb and Joshua) came back with a frightening report, “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan. We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13)

The Israelites were thoroughly shaken and they said, “Only if we had died in Egypt! Or in the wilderness!” We would be taken captives! Shall we just go back to Egypt? (Numbers 14)

But Caleb replied with a sentence “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Again in the succeeding chapter, he said, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 13, 14)

Prior to this event, Moses had told them about the promised land and they had experienced few miracles to boost the confidence needed for the journey. However, they were not 100% convinced so they had a plan b – go back to Egypt/serve the gods of Egypt. As a result, they complained, murmured and disobeyed. What was the result? – the generation was wiped out!

In Joshua 5, “all those who came out of Egypt—all the men of military age—died in the wilderness on the way after leaving Egypt. All the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not. The Israelites had moved about in the wilderness forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the Lord. For the Lord had sworn to them that they would not see the land he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way”.

In a nut shell, the elders of Moses’s era who entered the promised land were Joshua and Caleb. Why? I believe it was the word of their testimony!!

When God grants you a privilege to catch a glimpse of your promised land (via through logos or rhema), no matter its state, do you align your thoughts and speech with His or do you tell Him reasons why you think you can’t reach the land? If latter, would that be a reason why some promises seem unfulfilled or delayed?

Do you take interest?

Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt’s bondage towards the entrance of the promised land (the inheritance). He received, from God, clear instructions on how to divide this land amongst the tribes of Israel. Just before he died, he passed these detailed instructions to Joshua. These were written down for the Israelites to see and read.

Some of the tribes (Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh) had their share just before River Jordan/East of Jordan whilst the other tribes had theirs after it. For the latter to get to their portion, they needed to cross the river, conquer Jericho, Ai, Southern and Northern Armies and others nations. However the former were charged, according to Moses, to lead the latter in crossing over the river, help them in battles and stay with them until they all get possession of their share of land. Only then, can they go back to theirs (East of Jordan). These tribes replied by saying,”whatever you ask us to do, we will do. We obeyed Moses, we will obey you, Joshua.” That is such a lovely attitude.

I contrast this to Cain’s response when God asked him where his brother Abel was. He said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In other words, the tribes above could have said, “Need we care?; What if we were conquered at the battles, we won’t be able to possess our own share; We can’t possibly leave our wives and children alone and for that reason, we are out; We have had our share of the struggle, now is our time to enjoy. There is time for everything; This is a set up, why should we be the ones to lead?; etc”

Do you take interest in the welfare of your cell units members, department members, church members, that elderly grey haired woman who comes to church and seats at the middle row, that elderly man who sneezes every now and again on Sunday’s, that teenager you have an odd feeling about, a mother you notice looking stressed every now and again, the unemployed?