A Blessings For The Animals

At the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 1:26 God gives man responsibility “over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

God was so interested in the welfare of the animal kingdom that He created. He even commanded Noah, in the time of judgement on the earth, to make the ark big enough to hold two of every kind of animal that existed.

God expects us to care for our animals Proverbs 12:10  reminds us that “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal”

PBB2Yesterday, my bother Pierre B. Bland DVM continued his fulfillment of God’s Proverbs 12:10 commandment with the opening of his new veterinary practice in Oakland Park, FL.

I think it’s safe to assume that God is an animal lover and when do the same we are illustrating God’s love as well.

 

Blessings to the animals

Blessings to my brother Pierre B. Bland DVM

And blessings to all who love and care for God’s animals.

Practice PBB

 

 

A Prayer for Protection

Dear Heavenly Father

Psalms 46:1  tells us that you God are our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble.

Dear Heavenly Father

As we start this week of work.

We come to you seeking your love.

We come to you seeking your grace.

We come to you seeking your protection in these troubled times in which we live.

In this week many of us will travel for our jobs by treacherous air, rail and road.

In this week many of us will encounter for our jobs situations that will temp us to comprise our faith in you.

In this week many of us for our jobs will face dangers that we will not envision and things that we   will not be prepared for.

But Heavenly Father, you know of the roads that we will travel,

But Heavenly Father, you know of the temptations that we will encounter,

But Heavenly Father, you know of the dangers that we will face.

Therefore, Heavenly Father as your faithful children we humbly ask for your protection this week.

Not just to do our jobs.

But to do your Will.

Heavenly Father

It is in the name of your son Jesus that we pray.

Let every voice say Amen, Amen, and Amen

How To Make Our Lives Easier

Egales SinningIn 1972 the country rock group the Eagles scored a top 20 hit with a song about the difficulties of life called Take It Easy.  (Listen to the song below)

While secular in nature, for me the clever lyrics of the song captures the multiple pressures we contend with everyday making our lives anything but easy.

“Well I’m a-runnin’ down the road, tryin’ to loosen my load

I’ve got seven women on my mind

Four that want to own me, two that want to stone me

One says she’s a friend of mine

Take it easy, take it easy

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy

Lighten up while you still can

Don’t even try to understand

Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy”

God thru His Son Jesus wants us to take it easy.  Examine the offer that Jesus makes to us in Matthew 11:28-29:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

YokeA yoke is wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.

In taking on our yokes Jesus is promising to being united with us making the otherwise hard work of our lives easier, simply because Jesus is with us.

OxenYokeUp-908x645

However, for this partnership to be successful we must be pulling in the same direction and in order for that to happen we must allow Jesus to take the lead.

For when we let Jesus take the lead with our yoke, He promises that we will ‘find rest” for our soul.

Believe me when we finally decide to submit our lives and will to the direction of Jesus our burdens regardless of what they are will become considerably more manageable.

So lighten up while you still can

Don’t even try to understand

Just let Jesus be the place where you take your stand, and take it easy”

Thoughts On Being First

As humans many of us have a relentless drive to be “first”.  History reminds us every day of many amazing firsts.  Let’s explore the first that took place in this the second week of April, 11th – 15th

  • On April 11, 1961 Bob Dylan plays his first major gig in New York City
  • On April 12, 1861, the first shots of the U.S. Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay
  • On April 13, 1964 Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win an Oscar for best actor.
  • On April 14, 1775 the first American abolition society is founded in Philadelphia
  • And on this day April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson breaks color barrier as he becomes the first African-American to play in the major leagues

Jesus in His encounter with the rich young ruler detailed in Matthew 19:16–30 made the statement “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first”

What exactly did Jesus mean when He said, “Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first”? First, we should eliminate what He did not mean.

Jesus was not teaching that the way to get to heaven is to live a life of poverty in this world. Scripture is clear that salvation is by grace through faith, not of works (Ephesians 2:8–9)—and independent of one’s financial status.

Also, Jesus was not teaching an automatic reversal of roles in heaven. There is no heavenly law wherein the poor and oppressed must rule over the rich and powerful. The rich aren’t always last in heaven, and the poor aren’t always first. Nor will believers who enjoy wealth and prestige on earth be required to somehow be abased in heaven. Earthly rank will not automatically translate into an inverse heavenly rank.

When Jesus told the disciples they would be greatly rewarded in heaven for what they had given up on earth, He was contrasting their sacrifice with the rich young ruler’s lack thereof—the young man had been unwilling to give up much of anything for Christ’s sake (Matthew 19:16–22).

God, who sees the heart, will reward accordingly. The disciples are an example of those who may be first, and they happened to be poor (but their poverty was not what makes them first in heaven). The rich young ruler is an example of those who may be last, and he happened to be rich (but his wealth was not what makes him last).

What Jesus is teaching in Matthew 19:30 is this: there will be many surprises in heaven. Heaven’s value system is far different from earth’s value system.

Those who are esteemed and respected in this world (like the rich young ruler) may be frowned upon by God. The opposite is also true: those who are despised and rejected in this world (like the disciples) may, in fact, be rewarded by God.

Therefore, don’t get caught up in the world’s way of ranking things; it’s too prone to error. Those who are first in the opinion of others (or first in their own opinion!) may be surprised to learn, on Judgment Day, they are last in God’s opinion.

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Kobe Bryant, Hate, Forgiveness, Love

 Forgive us Our Trespasses, as we Forgive those who Trespass against Us. – Matthew 6:12

The basketball career of Kobe Bryant has come to a close as the five time NBA champion has retired.

However, the intense hostility fear, anger, sense of injury and hate has not been retired by the many NBA fans who basked in the glory of rooting against Kobe.

Clearly the Lord understands that we will “Trespasse” against people in our lives.  Those wrongs that we commit against people by thought word and deed will and can create the animosity that can unlike the fans of Kobe will destroy not only our relationships but our lives.

Unless we forgive.

God has set the forgiveness standard as He forgives us freely and without condition. However, for us to receive the full measure of God’s grace of forgiveness we must also forgive as Luke 6: 37 tells us: Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. 

Which brings us back to Kobe and takes us to me.  In the video below the clever people at Nike capitalizes on the hate fans have for the Black Moomba encouraging them to keep on hating the player as he exits the center stage.

While encouraging good old fashion hate is a great ad campaign that will sell a bunch of shoes, it is not something we can do in our lives.

Recently I committed a trespasses against someone in my life.   I violated a trust, I lied, I acted in ways not congruent with the expectations of a person who proclaims that he is a Man of God.

Of a greater wrong is the fact that I have not asked forgiveness from the Lord nor have I come clean directly to the person I have wronged not even to say I am sorry.

My actions have clearly caused anguish, pain and hurt with the person I have wronged —– but especially in me. Why? Because I have not forgiven myself.

God forgives freely and without condition, out of pure grace, there is no sin that He will not forgive.

Therefore, if God can forgive us for any sin.  Why is it we are not forgiving ourselves?

A Prayer Of Forgiveness

Dear Heavenly Father

I come to you with a confused mind, a wounded heart and a disappointed soul.  I have sinned against one of your children and have done wrong.

I very sorry for my misdoings and I ask your forgiveness.  I ask that you give me clarity of mind heart and soul so that I may forgive myself.

I ask you for the courage, grace and the right words to come to the one I sinned in person to explain myself and to ask for forgiveness.

Giving some measure of rightness to what I have done wrong.

Dear Heavenly Father

I praise you, I honor you, I love you and I thank you for the opportunity set by your example of forgiveness for myself and the one that I wronged.

I pray all of these things in your son Jesus name. — Amen

Happy retirement Kobe, yes while it is true I loved to hate you. As a basketball fan I loved your game. The relentless drive to be the best, the endless dedication to your craft which made you a true champion.

For all of this and so much more I have to say thank you for twenty years of greatness.  And oh by the way I forgive you for hitting all of those big shot against my Atlanta Hawks!

 

 

 

 

 

8 Tips For A Better Sleep

Every night in America we are recharging our phones, and tablets but not necessarily ourselves.

Experts have proclaimed that Americans are in the midst of a sleep-deprivation crisis.

Resulting in a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents along with more instances or anxiety, exhaustion, and depression.

These conditions are causing a severe loss of productivity at work and increase tensions at home.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post and the author of the new book: The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, views the right to a good restful sleep should be a basic human.

Huffington, believes that the right to good sleep should be protected and advocated for like the right not to go hungry, or the right to freedom of expression.

Using guidelines adopted from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Huffington, suggests these 8 tips for a better sleep.

1.Turn off the lights

Nighttime light exposure is one of the main factors affecting the quality of sleep? Light suppresses the body’s natural release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our bodies’ circadian rhythms. A recent study found that exposure to electrical light after dusk reduced pre-sleep melatonin levels by 71%.

2. Avoid electronic devices

Electronics, such as televisions, computers, and mobile phones, actually hinder our natural ability to fall asleep. Besides engaging the mind and producing adrenaline these devices emit artificial light. We need to limit our usage of these devices as we wind down our day; and avoid using them when we are trying to fall asleep.

3. Stick to a schedule

We should seek to follow a healthy and natural sleep/wake cycle. A consistent cycle will encourage better sleep because our schedules influence our circadian rhythms. Rising early in the morning and going to bed early at night is best.  Make it a goal to be asleep by 10 PM as studies show that we get our best sleep before midnight. It is also best to avoid naps during the day as they can interfere with nighttime sleep.

4. Relax and get comfortable

Avoid activities that are too stimulating and find some time to unwind before you go to bed.  Make the extra effort to create a peaceful, comfortable sleeping environment will also make a big difference. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary; focus on making it cool, comfortable, tidy, quiet and dark.

5. Say no to drugs

Believe it or not sleep aids, such as sleeping pills, should be avoided. Even when taken in small amounts sleeping pills can increase the risk of mortality and cancer and some of them can be addictive.

Substances like nicotine, caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided as they are stimulants designed to keep you awake.

If you really need something to help you sleep, try some chamomile tea.

6 Watch what you eat

Our dietary habits influence the quality of our sleep. Eating shortly before bedtime will disturb your sleep as your stomach tries to digest the new food. It’s best to eat your last meal several hours before bedtime.

7. Get active

Daily exercise or physical activity is not only healthy for you, but it helps promote better sleep. People who exercise will sleep easier and deeper throughout the night.  However, be careful about exercising too late at night, as it could boost your energy and make it difficult for you to get to sleep.

8. Prayer

Closing the day by contemplating the day’s blessings and spending time in prayer and meditation is an excellent way to get a peaceful sleep.

Jeremiah 33:3 is a verse of scripture that I mediate on nightly before bed: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”   The verse brings me great comfort allowing me to get a good night sleep.

God wants us to rest in him; we can trust him to guide us through the challenges life throws at us. The peace that God gives will enable us to sleep soundly even in the midst of our hectic schedules.

Final Thoughts

The sleep deprivation crisis that faces the nation, need not be your problem.   You can profoundly improve our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness simply by getting a good night sleep.

Pleasant dreams.

 

A Prayer About Faith

Dear Heavenly Father

Your word in Hebrews 11:1 tell us that: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

And while I have seen the faith of my Grandmother move mountains, my faith despite seminar training, preaching and reading of the word remains complex.

Dear Heavenly Father

My faith takes many forms, from church practice to personal spirituality to honest questioning, to struggle, and even doubt.  Sin is a constant companion to my faith urging me to return to a lifestyle where lustful desires are the norm, lying is acceptable and selfless acts are tolerated.

Dear Heavenly Father

As I navigate this world I humbly ask that you would

  • Strengthen my faith and keep me away from sin
  • Inform my faith with a deeper understanding of your Word
  • Use my faith to do your will not mine to reach the saved and the lost

Dear Heavenly Father

Your servant Martin Luther King, Jr. said this about faith: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”   Father today:

  • I don’t see the whole staircase about my mother’s health… but I walking up anyway because I have faith
  • I don’t see the whole staircase about paying for seminar while paying the bills…. but I walking up anyway because I have faith
  • I don’t see the whole staircase about the presidential election… but I walking up anyway because I have faith

Dear Heavenly Father

This time spent with you in prayer has helped me realize that I do not have to understand my faith.  All I must do is to have it and you Lord will bring the understanding by and by.

Dear Heavenly Father

Thank you for this time with you today.  I hope that the words of my private prayer to you bring some meaning to the public that might read it today.

And it is in Jesus name that I pray… Amen, Amen and Amen