Monday, 27 April 2015

Hanging Out With God | The Importance Of Prayer for Christians

Happy Monday Readers and Followers,

Could you imagine trying to have a best friend without communicating with them? Or your spouse travelled for a week and you were unable to communicate with your spouse? How would you feel? Imagine, being a Christian and not talking to God? The direct telephone numbers to God are within these two scriptures: Jeremiah 29:13 and Jeremiah 33:3.
“You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 GNT).
“Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvellous things that you know nothing about.” (Jeremiah 33:3 GNT).

What's Prayer all about?
God wants us to improve our prayer lives, including me the author of this post. I believe the word 'Prayer' sometimes makes us feel like it is a big task to undertake. 

Trying to be creative with the terminology, prayer is simply a time you talk to God, a time you hang out with God, a time God listens to you and a time that you listen to Him.

You may not be able to send a WhatsApp message to God, ring God, send a text message or snapchat to God, you may not be able to even send an email to God but guess what? Prayer is just as real as talking to God on the phone or sending an email.

Why Should You Pray?
  • It's a command from God: Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged. (Luke 18:1).
  • It makes your relationship with God stronger. You truly get to know God a lot when you hang out with Him on a regular basis. 
  • It is a way to seek God and His direction for your life. 
  • Praying also helps you to keep and stay out of trouble. Jesus told us to, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." (Matthew 26:41)
  • God will know exactly how you are feeling every day of your life, God will grant you the desire of your heart. God will reveal the hidden things to you.

Jesus - The Perfect Prayer Role Model
  • Jesus was a man of prayer
  • Jesus lived a life of prayer: Jesus would go away to lonely places, where he prayed. (Luke 5:16).
  • Prayer was so important that Jesus had to teach the disciples how to pray.
  • Jesus Christ sent the crowd away into the wilderness and prayed alone with God, a place where no one could find him (Matthew 14:23).
  • Before making decisions, Jesus sought the views of God: Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and He spent a whole night with God, and he chose his disciples after He had prayed (Luke 6:12-14). 

Why don't we Pray?
- The Devil is always looking for every opportunity to stop you and I from praying.
- We do not prioritise prayers.
- We engage ourselves in so many things.
- Some of us believe that we only need to pray when we fellowship with our church brethren.
- Some finds prayer very boring and tasking.
- Some people do not know how to pray.
- Too busy to pray.
- Postponing when to pray.
- Some people believe their spouse, parents or their church leaders are praying for them.
- Some people believe Jesus has prayed all the prayers that they need in life.

Tips on Improving Your Communication with God
1.     Sometimes some of us say we don’t have a specific time to pray. There is no way we can learn to practise and stay in the presence of God if we don’t have a secret time and time alone with God. Have a time that you communicate with God. Also, be creative about your prayer lifestyle, pray while doing your chores, pray while cooking, pray while bathing, pray while driving, have a prayer walk, etc.

2.     I believe the initiating of prayer is not an issue but the problem is that, do we keep it going? Do we preserve in prayer? If it helps, have an accountability person, tell someone to always remind you to pray.
 
3.     You need to be highly disciplined to continue and persist in the place of prayer. Sometimes, it's not going to be convenient.
 
4.     Renew your mind and consciously believe that prayer is not a difficult task but rather a time to hang out with God.
 
5.     When you pray, do not doubt. Ask in faith - James 1:6-8.
 
6.     Say what you want . . . Speak it! Mark 11:23 states that, whoever says to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says he will be fine, he will have whatever he says.
 
7.     Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to improve your prayer life. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans8:26).

8.     Take time to talk to God when you will have less distractions from other things.
 
9.     Have a Godly friend that you can pray together, this can also help improve your prayer life.

10. There are prayer books that you can purchase online that can guide you in your prayer.
 
11. When you study your Bible, raise prayer points within what you have read.
 
12. Tell God about everything on your mind, pray for yourself, your friend, your family, pray for your country.

Are you a parent? One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is teaching your child how to pray. Help your child to develop a daily life of prayer, from age 2 upwards, encourage your child to lead prayers during your family devotion, encourage them to pray on their meal before eating, encourage them to share their worries with God including their wishes, encourage them to thank God for their family, friends, health, protection, character, wisdom from God, their future, etc.

Having read this post, please take 5 minutes to hang out with God.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

- Myss Lafunky

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Beware of Your Friends| Beware of Yourself

Hi Readers and Followers, 

How is your week going? If you wish to connect with me, you are welcome to contact me via trulymakingadifference@gmail.com or by commenting on the posts that I share.

Today's post stemmed from my daily bible study. As I was studying the book of Jeremiah, the Holy Spirit told me to ponder on the below scriptures:

Beware of your friends; do not trust anyone in your clan.
For every one of them is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth.
They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. (Jeremiah 9:4-5 NIV)." 

When I discovered the above scriptures, fear gripped me, I became scared and I examined myself, I questioned if I'd been a disloyal friend to others or even if I had lied to myself. In fact, I initially struggled to fathom the above scriptures.

Explanation of the above scriptures
God was fed up with the people of Judah and accused them of creating a culture of lies. In fact, the people of Judah couldn't trust each other, not even their friends. Their society had become so sinful that friends were deceiving friends; they deceived each other.

Isn't it difficult for us to think that most people that we know might be liars?  It is important to note that while some people lie, there are still people that do not lie or people that are conscious of not lying. Children of Jesus Christ are not to lie. To lie is to embrace the evil trait of the devil as he is the father and author of all lies, who, liars resemble and obey (John 8:44). When we lie, there's the tendency that we would extend the lie to cover up another lie, and the individual that has told a lie would struggle to disclose the truth. Lying questions our integrity as individuals. 

God wants us to be truthful in every relationship that we form, whether friendship, courtship, dating, work relations, online friendship including marriage. If we are dishonest with others, the relationship is likely to crumble; the relationship would be based on deceit and it would be superficial. 

Apostle Paul in the Bible encouraged us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Paul said: "Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. (Ephesians 4:15 GNT) "

Do you know that God can guide you when you are developing close friendships with others? Tell God to help you to choose the right friends. Also, remember to be the right friend to others. Be a loyal friend, a friend that does not slander and a truthful friend.  There are two posts about friendships on Myss Lafunky's blogspot that are worth reading, kindly search my blog or Google with the blog name "Choosing Your Friends Wisely" and "Do Your Associations Bring Out the Best In You."

It is important that we guard our hearts and minds. We are all prone to believe and tell lies, even to ourselves and we daily face a tempter who is the father of Lies (John 8:44).

Honesty is very crucial. I have come to learn that being honest does not mean being brutal and uncompassionate. To be honest and truthful is to be genuine, to refuse to lie or deceive in any way. There is nothing so liberating as the truth. Truth is intertwined with love, trust, security, honesty and kindness. Therefore, embrace the freedom of truth in your lifestyle and in human relations.


Let's chat..
- If you sense that certain friends of yours are not being truthful with you, what would you do? Would the way you deal with it be influenced on whether they are Christians or non- Christians? 

- Myss Lafunky

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Bible Verses Deleted In The NIV Bible Version

In Year 2007, when I was studying my New International Version (NIV) Bible, I noticed that NIV omitted the Trinity (The Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are one) in 1 John 5:7.  It is believed that there are over 40 scriptures that NIV have removed or changed the context or included the verses in small print at the footnotes(seriously, who reads the footnotes?) . Over 40 verses in all!!!! It's shocking! I'm aware there are other bible versions that have also omitted biblical verses.

Some of the omitted scriptures within NIV are: 

Matthew 12:47 -- removed in the footnotes

Matthew 17:21 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." 

Matthew 18:11 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." 

Matthew 21:44 -- removed in the footnotes 

Matthew 23:14 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." 

Mark 7:16 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." 

Mark 9:44 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." 

Mark 9:46 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." 

Mark 11:26 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." 

Mark 15:28 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors." 

Mark 16:9-20 (all 12 verses) -- There is a line separating the last 12 verses of Mark from the main text. Right under the line it says: [The two most reliable early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20] (NIV, 1978 ed.) The Jehovah's Witness "Bible" also places the last 12 verses of Mark as an appendix of sorts.

Luke 17:36 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." 

Luke 22:44 -- removed in the footnotes

Luke 22:43 -- removed in the footnotes

Luke 23:17 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)" 

John 5:4 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." 

John 7:53-8:11 -- removed in the footnotes

Acts 8:37 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. It's deletion makes one think that people can be baptized and saved without believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Sounds Catholic. What are you NIV readers missing?
"And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." 

Acts 15:34 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still." 

Acts 24:7 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands," 

Acts 28:29 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves." 

Romans 16:24 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." 

I John 5:7 -- Vitally important phrase COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. In the NIV it says,

"For there are three that testify:"

Compare the NIV reading with the following Jehovah's Witness reading--

"For there are three witness bearers,"

What are you NIV readers missing? What does the real Bible say?

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." 

"This is one of the GREATEST verses testifying of the trinity. Do you that the Jehovah's Witnesses also left it out in their Bible? They do not believe in the trinity and they do not believe that Jesus is God. Why does the NIV leave it out? 

Why are people wresting and perverting the scriptures to their own private interpretation? God said that if anyone removes any of the words from the Bible, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in the Bible (Revelation 22:19). I was told that the original author of NIV Bible was an atheist. I need to do a little digging about it actually.

It is advisable to read and study King James Version(KJV) Bible because of its accuracy. You can read KJV version in conjunction with other versions for lucidity. I'm only recommending KJV and NKJV ad those are the two that I haven't noticed any issue with, this does not suggest that other versions are not suitable.

- Myss Lafunky

Reference: http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/nivdelet.htm

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hurting People Hurt Others|5 Tips on Human Relations

Hi Readers and Followers,

Hope your week is going alright. Myss Lafunky would like to express her gratitude to those that have shared the blogspot with their friends or used some of the articles for counselling.
If you have any confidential questions, feel free to send your questions to trulymakingadifference@gmail.com.

Human Relations
The way I relate with people has been influenced by the application of the Bible, guidance of the Holy Spirit, counsel from Godly friends, the book of Proverbs and principles from John Maxwell's book.

I would like to share some of the principles that I practise. John Maxwell's write-up provides a good summary to my daily life principles. Please, read the below write-up from John Maxwell:

"If you’ve spent any time on this earth, you know that life contains conflict. And there are times in the life of every leader when he or she needs to fight. But if you fight all the time, you can wear yourself out. That’s why it’s important to pick your battles.

To gain a better perspective on when to fight back and when to “let it go,” practice the following disciplines:

1. Spend time with people who are different from you. This helps you appreciate and understand how others think and work. You will be less inclined to judge or battle them.

2. In matters of personal preference or taste, give in. Keep the main thing the main thing. If you don’t save your energy for what really matters, you’ll wear yourself out and wear out your welcome with others.

3. Don’t take things too personally. In general, hurting people hurt people. And they’re also easily hurt by others. Keep that in mind when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s anger.

4. Practice the 101% Principle. Whenever possible in a difficult situation, find the 1% that you do agree on and give it 100% of your effort.

5. Be a servant leader. If your mindset is to serve rather than be served, you will be less likely to encounter resistance.

The best team doesn’t always win;
it’s usually the team that gets along best."

No 3 is my favourite. What's your favourite?

- Myss Lafunky

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Do Christians Serve the same God as other Religions?

I strongly believe that Christians DO NOT serve the same God as other religions. The God that I serve is a 3 in one God. There are three that bear records in heaven, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and these three are one.

Jesus Christ is the only living God that died and rose again. 
He is the only way to heaven, If one does not believe that Jesus is Lord, there is no way we can state that we serve the same God.

The Bible states that, In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ) and the Word (Jesus Christ) was with God and the Word (Jesus Christ) was God. Nothing that was made would have been made. All things were made through Him, by Him and for Him.

God came to earth through human body as Jesus Christ, He came to live the life that we are living, He came to die for us. He made us holy by sacrificing Himself through His death.

To be part of the heavenly Kingdom, individuals must make the most important life decision. This decision is to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour. This decision can be received when individuals confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead, then they become saved.

Other religions do not believe in what I have written above, some have something similar in their own religious book, however, no other religion believes that Jesus is the only way to heaven and neither do they believe that they must practise Jesus's principles, neither do they believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.