Wednesday, February 26, 2020
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Alistair Shaw

Choose

Life is all about choices.  We are constantly bombarded with decisions that demand answers, sometimes immediate responses.   When you’re given the option to become ill tempered or to take on a bad mood,  do you accept that easily, or do you try your utmost to remain cheerful and calm no matter what?  I think this sort of behaviour speaks of great maturity – having the ability to look at life’s difficult moments and to take a step back, thinking before you speak, making a healthy observation regarding the circumstances, and then to react appropriately.

As you go about your day, no matter what gets thrown your way, try your best to react and respond based on wise thought processes and not the heat of the moment.

Fulfillment

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Being content with life and not having lack;  is this the ultimate feeling of fulfillment?   Is fulfillment really a feeling of wholeness or achievement, is it a sense of accomplishment, or is it knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that all is well with my soul?

Being fulfilled should be about more than just our desires satisfied,  it should be a state of being where even if life is difficult and hard,  even if I’m financially unstable,  even in the midst of trials,  I can say ‘it is well with my soul’. You see,  no matter how much earthly wealth or possessions I have,  my measure is Christ and that measure is always above the maximum line,  always enough,  never lacking. 

Psalms 23:1-4 says it so beautifully:

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

The Lord is my Shepherd,  I have no lack in Him! Therefore I am fulfilled when I am resting in His provision, His security and His guidance.

Talking Animals

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I know how you talk to your favourite Fluffy, Rex, and Truffle, and all you’ve ever wanted was for them to ‘talk’ back.  Who thought that actually, they could?  Well…sort of!

Now here’s a collection of a few talking animals that will make you think: Hang on, I’m sure my Booboo can do that!

“Breathing” Solar Battery

We all remember high school science…photosynthesis in plants to be precise. Photosynthesis is a process through which plants convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms’ activities. Akin to photosynthesis in plants, word on the street is that there is a battery which virtually functions like a living organism, giving the user unlimited access to energy at very low costs. A research team at The Ohio State University (OSU) is laying claim to the world’s first “breathing” solar battery that recharges itself with air and light. In conventional solar set ups with a panel and battery, about 20% of electricity generated is lost during transmission from the panel to the battery. In order to increase efficiency, OSU combined the generating and storage functions of solar power in a single device, a solar cell that can store its own power; in effect, a solar battery. This also reduces costs significantly as all functions are carried out by one device. Lead inventor Yiying Wu, a professor of biochemistry and chemistry says, “We’ve integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost.”

The advantage of the solar battery over the conventional solar set up is that the panel would stop air from getting into the battery, so the solution was to design a mesh-style panel. Made of titanium gauze, the mesh sports perpendicular nanoscale rods of titanium dioxide. The rods capture solar energy while the mesh structure enables air to flow freely. A conventional solar cell uses four electrodes, but in the new solar battery, the titanium mesh itself counts as an electrode. In the OSU device a special mesh solar panel allows the battery to “breathe,” vital to how it creates and stores energy, the researchers explain. The mesh belongs to a class of devices known as dye-sensitized solar cells, where coloured dyes are used to tune the wavelength of light a cell captures. Light hits the mesh solar panel and creates electrons that, inside the device, are involved in chemical decomposition of lithium peroxide into oxygen and lithium ions. The oxygen is released while the lithium ions are stored within the battery. When the battery is discharging, it consumes oxygen from the air to re-form the lithium peroxide. “Basically, it’s a breathing battery,” Wu says. “It breathes in air when it discharges, and breathes out when it charges.” Their solar battery’s lifetime should be comparable to rechargeable batteries already in the marketplace, they said.

Africa for one is blessed with a large landmass which receives vast amounts of sunlight most of the year. Both urban and rural dwellers could benefit immensely from such technology. Do you know of any Africans who have invented similar devices to help Africans gain better access to electricity?

Endure To The Very End

We have all heard about ‘mountain vs valley’ experiences in life. The one being the joyful, happy, ‘easy go lucky’ moments, and the other being the hardships and difficult moments we endure.  Miley Cyrus sings about it in one of her songs “It’s the climb”. She sings about life not being all about the end results, but the moments in getting there…the climb or journey vs the speed at which I get to the mountain top. I’m all for having a plan and reaching my goals, but I think far too often we race through life and we forget to stop and smell the roses, take in the moment and observe how God carries us through the difficult times of life. Furthermore, we hardly stop to appreciate people around us.

Psalm 23:4 (VOICE) puts it so beautifully – “Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear.  Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted.”

No matter where you find yourself today, remember life is always going to be filled with surprises, some difficult times and hard choices to make – in all of this,  always rely on God’s strength and understanding, He will guide your path and give you the grace to endure to the very end!

I Can Do All Things

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“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”

This is one of those scriptures we tend to learn like a parrot and can quote under 3 seconds.  But what does it really mean… I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength?  Does it mean I can drink petrol intentionally and pretend it’s pineapple juice and ‘trust’ that nothing will happen to me, because God will give me the ‘strength’ to overcome and survive the poison?  Does it mean we can live irresponsibly and hope God will bail us out?

Could a more accurate interpretation of this scripture be that, when I find myself out of my league and feel like I cannot accomplish something I’ve set my sights on, that God will enable me to overcome and possibly pull it off?  Could it be that Christ will help me to endure the race no matter what obstacles come my way?

As you go about your day today, remember that you, in your own strength can only do so much, God on the other hand can do a whole lot more!!

At What Point Does it Stop Hurting?

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Life, at times, is made quite complicated by all the hardships we are forced to endure. We are told this is all part of the growing up process. It seems like life was much simpler as a child, but the truth is we can’t live like Peter Pan, remaining young and irresponsible forever.

So how do we deal with the reality of adulthood and responsibility? Is there ever a point where disappointment stops hurting?

For me, there are a few ways of dealing with disappointment. Firstly, I give the situation in its entirety to God and ask Him to give me wisdom and understanding.  I ask Holy Spirit to speak to my heart and reveal the truth of the situation to me. I take a few steps back and observe the situation for a moment, as if from a bird’s-eye view. From there I think it through, from start to finish and determine the truth of the situation versus the preconceived ideas and imaginations I conjure up from my fears or incomplete information. In fact, what I find really helpful is jotting down my thoughts at the end of each day, briefly writing down the positives and negatives of the day and coming up with possible solutions for the more serious thoughts that concern me.

At what point does it stop hurting?  The moment I hand over full control of life’s difficult situations to God and realize God has given me a sound mind and his perfect love drowns out all fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

A Little Humour with Tim Hawkins

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We all need the occasional bit of humour, in my case, I enjoy it everyday!!  I came across this funny clip describing various people’s experiences of praise & worship in a church scenario.  For a good laugh, click, watch and enjoy a little humour with Tim Hawkins!

 

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