Stewardship in Health

Standard

I beseech (urge) you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, Romans 12:1, NKJV).

Since we are created in the image of God and in His likeness, He has placed a responsibility on us to be good stewards not only of the Earth but also of our very own physical bodies. God declares in 3 John 2 (NKJV): Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Using the acronym NEW START – here are some practical tips you can use to make a new healthy start during 2022.

N is for Nutrition: A balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains are essential for a healthier lifestyle as they contain the vitamins and minerals necessary to building resistance to symptoms of disease and general ill health.
E is for Exercise: Cultivate good practice for the body through regular exercise. A 10 minute walk, jog or run is good for maintaining strength in the legs and thighs as well as increasing the flow of blood to the heart. Swimming and athletics as well as other sports are good for strengthening the cardiovascular muscles while also keeping your body lean and fit.

W is for Water: While water may not be to everyone’s taste there are many important functions it has on your body. Firstly, it is a cleansing agent which cleans the body from all its impurities from the inside out. Water not only keeps your blood supply clear from blockages but it also cleans out the kidneys allowing water to pass through easily. It is recommended that 10-12 glasses of water a day be drunk in order to replace the perspiration and sweat that may have been lost through exercise and other activities. Also, unlike many fizzy drinks and fruit juices (which often have a very high sugar content) water cuts down on your thirst, leaving you feeling refreshed from the inside out.

Water: A source of life

S is for Sunshine: Many of us are highly deficient in Vitamin D which is needed to strengthen our bones as well as boost our our immune system more generally. Therefore it is important to take in a regular supply of sunshine whenever possible as it brings energy to work hard as well as peace to an individual.
T is for Temperance: It is important to take time to reflect on things that make you happy and keep your mind occupied with the good things of life. This could be a fun day out at the park with the children or perhaps reading your favorite book. You maybe meditate on a piece of music that keeps your mind calm and allows you to think positively. It’s about self-control of both your mind and body and the word declares that this is possible because: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).

A is for Air: As well as taking in as much outdoor sunshine as you can, you should also take in a regular supply of fresh air and especially during these times of challenge from coronavirus. Perhaps a walk in the countryside would be ideal, as you take in a fresh supply of air that clears the lungs, allowing you to breathe efficiently while also calming your spirit. 

R is for Rest: Rest is so important to God that he did it Himself: And on the seventhday (known as the Saturday Sabbath Day of Rest) God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventhday from all His work which He had done, (Genesis 2:2, NKJV). Many of us work long hours leaving very little time for rest or relaxation. No sooner has an individual returned from a hard day’s work year, they often find themselves back out again either to shop or to return to work again. Often the end result is burnout which then can lead to stress. Therefore it is important to take as much rest as you can so that your body can recuperate from the day’s activities, bringing your mind and body in synch with each other.

T is for Trust in God: In the Biblical book of wisdom – Proverbs – we counseled to: Trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean not unto our own understanding: In all our ways we are to acknowledge God and then He will direct (make smooth or straight) our path, (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV). 

So as you journey on during 2022 why not adopt the NEW START model in your life so you can have a happy and healthier start to your New Year!

In God We Trust

© Copyright 2022, Darell J Philip

Stewardship of the Earth

Standard


Then the Lord God took the man (Adam) and put him in the garden of Eden to tend (cultivate) and keep it, (Genesis 2:15, NKJV).

Just as the first man on earth was given a responsibility to take care of it, so too are we today. Every one of us God has made stewards of the earth and it is something that He very much takes seriously because He is the creator of it. The Psalmist declares that: The Earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness; The world and those who dwell therein, (Psalms 24:1, NKJV).

Climate Change is a global issue, high on the agenda. Everyone is concerned about the adverse impact climate change is having on the planet, from young activists such as Greta Thunberg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg to world leaders attending the recent Cop 26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2021/nov/02/cop26-global-leaders-begin-talks-in-pictures.

The planet is in crisis because of a number of different reasons: rising levels of pollution from vehicles and power stations burning fuel; land and sea adversely impacted by deforestation and a mix of both domestic and toxic waste respectively. Then there are the financial and digital inequalities across the globe which for far too long have had devastating consequences for families living in the so called ‘Third World’ or developing countries where access to such basic living amenities is often to the bare minimum if any at all. 

Then there are the rises in natural disasters at an alarmingly unnatural rate – the frequency of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, wild fires and floods unparalleled in recent years to anything we’ve ever seen before. Added to all this is a planet all adversely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic which has claimed lives across the globe without partiality to age, gender, race or status. Whilst being locked down in our homes did any of you notice how the plants, trees and wildlife thrived? 

We each have our part to play in making the world a better place and being the stewards that God has called each of us to be. For those of us in the Western World, we must do the simple, most basic of tasks to make our environment one which can enable us and the generations to come after thrive. Simple measures we can choose to make include: disposal of domestic waste in bins; food waste in appropriate bags and bins; the recycling of paper and other items displaying the logo; saving our electric and water by using sparingly rather than excessively and walking rather than driving to work.

If we are to save the planet from imminent disaster then we must lead by example so that future generations will benefit and continue where the current generation has begun. The late great King of Pop – Michael Jackson – sang the following lyrics: Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race, there are people dying, if you care enough for the living, make it a better place for you and for me. And God himself through Jesus has said that: the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and then to love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-39, paraphrased) because that is at the heart of true stewardship – so why not make this a priority during this new-year of 2022.

© Copyright 2022, Darell J Philip

Click on YouTube link below to know more:

https://youtu.be/BWf-eARnf6U

Walk With God

Standard



And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him; This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God, (Genesis 5:24; 6:9, NKJV).

Every year we often make new-year resolutions and they can range from keeping fit, quitting a bad habit such as smoking and drinking or spending more time with our families. No sooner have we resolved to make that change, in a very short space of time we begin to find those old, bad habits we vowed to break, creeping back in and before long we find ourselves ending the year the in the same position as we did at the very start of it – with little progress made. They say practice makes perfect and that repetition deepens the impression and how true in our walk with God.

The same battle for mastering our natural self is replicated in our spiritual nature. For many a step we take forward, we can often find ourselves taking two steps back, leaving us frustrated, despondent and lacking in faith.

The spiritual walk is not an easy walk; it’s one which requires discipline, endurance and most importantly faith in a power outside of us. The good news is that it is possible to walk with God through accessing the same power that the likes of Enoch and Noah did as illustrated in the Biblical book of Genesis. Studying the bible and prayer is important.

During those early days of Biblical history we learn of a generation from Enoch to Noah that walked with God and whom also lived exceptionally long lives – Methuselah, the son of Enoch, is recorded as the oldest man that ever lived in Biblical history at an incredibly mind-bogglingly nine hundred and sixty-nine years old, something unheard of today!

So what can we learn from these simple, yet exceptional men of God in how to walk with God?

Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts, (Zechariah 4:6, NKJV). 

Our consistent walk with God is wholly dependent on our accessing of the Holy Spirit. 

So how can we have access to that power? 

By acknowledging we are powerless to help ourselves and of our need of a savior – Jesus – who promises to send the Spirit to those who ask, believe and confess their sins (John 14:14-18, NKJV paraphrased).
So what else do we need in order to maintain a walk with God? 

We are to live lives of integrity and be fair in our treatment of others. One of the commandments states that long lives are promised to those who honour their parents (Exodus 20:12) – could this be the reason why Methuselah, son of Enoch (who was translated to Heaven without seeing death) is recorded as the oldest man who ever lived on the face of the earth?

Obedience to God and our parents followed by fair and respectful relationships with others brings great rewards not only to us but also to our families and loved ones.

From Enoch to Noah was a blessed generation that walked with God. This year, why not take a leap of faith in your walk with God and see what great blessings come your way.

© Copyright 2022, Darell J Philip

I Know Your Name

Standard

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob; And He formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine, (Isaiah 43:1, NKJV). 

My son (insert your name) and my daughter (insert your name), I know your name. I have created you in my image and given you my likeness. Of everything that I have created on planet earth, you are the bestat your birth I pronounced your being asvery good,’ (Genesis 1:31, NKJV). 

Sons – you are Kings and Princes; and daughters – you are Queens and Princesses – a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, My own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into My marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy (1st Peter 2:9-10, NKJV).

My daughter (insert your name), your worth is far above rubies, you are strong, creative, industrious and generousthere is nothing you cannot dostrength and honour are your clothing and every good thing you find to do in My name is blessed (Proverbs 31:10-28, NKJV, paraphrased)

My son (insert your name): Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you: I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Behold, I have put my words in your mouth (Jeremiah 1:5, 9, NKJV). I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Me, who am from the beginning. I have written to you young men, because you are strong, My word abides in you and you have overcome the wicked one, (1st John 2:14).

My Sons and daughters – I can never forget you for your names I have inscribed on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me, (Isaiah 49:16, NKJV) and even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:30, NKJV).

Finally, my sons and daughters: Let not your heart be troubled; believe in Me and My SonJesus Christ. In My house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. Jesus, My Son, has prepared a place for all of you and has promised to come back to planet earth again just for youso that where He and I are, you will be also, (John 14:1-3, NKJV Paraphrased)

It won’t be long now so hold on.

Love always,

Your Abba Father

God



©Copyright 2022, Darell J Philip

Click on YouTube link below to know more:

https://youtu.be/t7owFiihXgg

Created in His Image

Standard

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them, (Genesis 1:27, NKJV).

If you are reading this right now, I want you to know that you are special. Now you may be thinking how can I know that you are special when we have never even met? That is a fair point. However, the fact remains that you are special and I know this because the word of God says so. 

In the book of new beginnings – that is Genesis – God spends a week on a creative project which begins with a blank canvas on day 1 but by day 6 is a work of art that the likes of Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso would be most proud of. While the conclusion of each day’s work was described as ‘good,’ it was what God created on the sixth day which was described as being ‘very good.’  It was on the sixth day that God created Adam – the first human being on planet earth and our ancestor. While the creation of heaven and earth, sky and sea, plant and animals were pleasing to God, it was the creation of human beings – male and female – that pleased God most.

The word declares that human beings are created in the image of God – can you take a moment and just reflect on this? You are created in the image of God. Isn’t that special? I want you to take just a moment to look at yourself in a mirror or open up that camera app on your phone and as you look at yourself declare with your mouth the words – I am created in the image of God. How does that make you feel? If like me, it makes you feel special then that is because God wants you to feel that way about yourself. 

Still not convinced? Then why not check out what God says further on the subject through the Psalmist David: For You (God) formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mothers womb; I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well, (Psalms 139:13-14). 

Wow – not only has God created you from the time of conception but He has also declared that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that you are marvelous in His eyes. Has anyone ever told you that you’re marvelous? Well, if not, now you know from God Himself that you are just that and He does not lie because His word is truth. 

God values and loves you so much that the word further declares through His son Jesus that the very hairs of your head are all numbered (including those who have none) and that therefore you should not fear anything as you are of more value to Him than many sparrows (Matthew 10:30-31, NKJV). 

If that was not enough, Then God said: Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness, (Genesis 1:26, NKJV). How cool is that? Not only have you been created in His image but also according to His likeness. That means not only do you look like God in appearance but you also have been designed in His likeness – that is all the characteristics which make up who God is – supreme, marvelous, wonderful, and awesome – are also in you. That is what you are because God said it – so believe it and be the person God has designed you to be for the heavens are telling of God and His glory; what a mighty God we serve

©Copyright 2022, Darell J Philip

Click on the YouTube link below to know more:

https://youtu.be/zrj5FZ6uoNI

It’s a New Season

Standard

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven, (Ecclesiastes 2:2, NKJV).

Undoubtedly, the past two years have presented numerous challenges never seen before on such a global scale. Many if not all have been impacted adversely or otherwise by the Coronavirus and the latest Omicron variant. Some have miraculously overcome the virus while others have sadly succumbed to it, leaving many families and friends heartbroken. Indeed, the past two years have in many ways felt like a long winter season with many in the world crying out for a change.

While at times the road we travel seems to be one of peaks and often far too many valleys, we can be assured that the journey will not be like this forever. Seasons are always subject to change and if we can hold on for just a little bit longer and not lose hope during times of despair, heartache and uncertainty, our change will come too.

To everything in life there is a season along with a time for every purpose under the sun, (Ecclesiastes 2:2, NKJV). 

Seasons, be they good or otherwise, come to teach us valuable lessons which if adhered to will ultimately build our character and strengthen our faith. We can only endure as we are tried and excel as we are stretched. It’s during those winter and autumn seasons of our lives that true resilience, fortitude and inner strength are built in us as we put our faith in the one who has the power to speak to the winds and the waves and at His command they are stilled so we can have peace, (Mark 4:39, NKJV).

As you journey on during this new year of 2022, remember that seasons change. Nothing stays the same forever. If you find yourself in a valley, look up because it is then you will be given strength needed to rise up again and start anew. And when you find yourself in seasons of spring and summer; raised from the valley to the mountain peak, then please do remember to thank the one who changed your season and share your blessing with others needing to experience the same. 

God has promised to give you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, (Isaiah 61:3, NKJV). 

Its a new season, its a new day; a fresh anointing is coming your way; its a season of power and prosperity; its a new season coming to we.

©Copyright 2022, Darell J Philip

Great is Your faithfulness

Standard

Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not; they are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness, (Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV).

For many of us, 2021 was a year which presented many challenges: redundancy, sickness, isolation and sadly the loss of loved ones. For others it was also a year of great opportunities and breakthrough. 2021 indeed was a rollercoaster of a year which has now passed and today – 1st January 2022 – ushers in a new year and with it a new beginning and chapter in each of our lives.

We should not take it lightly that we have made it into a new year after what many of us are likely to have experienced during 2021.  Therefore, we would do well to be reminded that we are still here only because of the grace of God and for that we must be thankful. 

There is no guarantee that 2022 will be a year without challenges and one would be rather presumptuous to think otherwise. But we can be encouraged in knowing that just as we made it through last year; we can experience the same during this New Year. We are here because the Lord’s mercies and compassions towards us failed not.

With each waking morning, may we then give thanks to the one who is keeping us; and as He blesses us may we in turn do Him proud by blessing others. He who has brought us safely through 2021 has a plan of good for us all in 2022: For He knows the thoughts that He thinks towards us, which are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us a future and a hope, (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV).

So today, as you embark upon this new day, new year and new chapter in your life, why not begin it with God knowing that whatever is to come, you have a friend with you who His faithful; and as He has seen you through 2021 with all the challenges it presented, He is more than able to do the same for you this year.

I wish you all a year of joy, contentment, good health and wisdom; and may you be blessed to be a blessing.

©Copyright 2022, Darell J Philip

Arsene Wenger: Invincible (2021)

Standard

Arsene Wenger: Invincible (2021)

Fear guides the restriction of our ambition. You have not to be scared. Be audacious. Be ambitious. Your life can be wider than your widest dream,” ( Arsene Wenger, 2021).

I remember it like yesterday. The very first time that Arsene Wenger was announced as the new Arsenal Football Club Manager was during the very same season that I was chosen to be a member of the Official Arsenal FC Ballboy and Ballgirl squad. I remember being particularly proud of having the squad number 10 as that happened to be the squad number of the legendary Dennis Bergkamp in the Arsenal First team squad. I also remember at the end of that 1996/97 season when Wenger arrived and we finished in 3rd place, that I had the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him in his native French (Merci Monsieur Wenger) at the end of season awards at Highbury for all who had officiated for the club during that season. 

Nobody knew who Arsene Wenger was. In truth he was an enigma to us all. Little did we know that some 22 years later after his arrival to the club he loved that he would leave a legacy which marked him out as the most successful and longest serving manager in the history of Arsenal Football Club. And among the greatest of his achievements was to do the impossible in leading his talented team of players to win the English Premier League Title without a single defeat during the 2003/04 season.

The release of Arsene Wenger: Invincibles (2021) tells that story in his own words and he has a great supporting cast in Martin Keown, Lee Dixon, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and Arsenal’s greatest ever player in Thierry Henry. The documentary would not have been as interesting without the contribution of Sir Alex Ferguson who built a fierce rivalry with Wenger during those early years where only Manchester United and Arsenal were dominating and competing for that top spot.

While Wenger was unable to recapture the glories of the past towards the end of his illustrious career, he has left an indelible mark on the sport as a manager who paved the way for the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp – managers imported from diverse European leagues who have become successful in their own right in today’s English Premier League.

If the nicest thing we can do is to send our roses of appreciation to those we love while they are still living, then a statue in honour of Arsene Wenger while he is still here with us would be fitting. 

It was a privilege to be a ballboy at the club when Arsene Wenger arrived; euphoric to be in Emirates stadium shouting my head off at the return of Thierry Henry scoring  a goal on his second debut in the FA Cup against Leeds and a delight to be among the crowd of red and white during the 2014 FA Cup parade – the first of three before Wenger took his final bow from the club which he lived and breathed and gave his all to. Audacious he was; ambitious he is and for us fans he gave us something wider than our widest dreams and for that I say “Merci beaucoup.”

Living Legend: Arsene Wenger 

© Copyright 2021, Darell J Philip