Why Does My House Get Dirty So Fast?

Why Does My House Get Dirty So Fast?

 

 

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walkway before it stops snowing. Phyllis Diller

 

It was barely two (2) hours since my girls walked into the house from their summer camp. As I ambled up the stairs to the family room area, I couldn’t help but notice the scraps of paper that had littered the floor. I instinctively bent down to pick them up. I wasn’t quite up when from the corner of my eyes I spotted some broken crayons that had somehow rolled down from the brown coffee table. I calmly crouched over to pick the crayons up, still giving my girls space to steep in their camp experience. But when I then  saw some Connect-4 game pieces (seeds)  scattered on the floor toward the washroom and now the pile of books lying on the carpet; disorganized as if wobbled by an earthquake, I cried out summoning my kids, “Why can’t this house remain clean? why should books and pens always lie around? do we live in a house that moves?’’ I  inquired facetiously. A question they’ve heard countless times. With little children, items never quite remain in their place for long, I thought to myself. Objects are either falling off, littering away, lying around, rolling down or flying off.  I finally roused myself  to accept the obvious; that a  house inhabited by little children requires frequent cleaning and tidying. 

 

While this thought  lingered in my mind, I admittedly, spotted a correlation to my own spiritual life. Every so often, the Lord would point His finger at areas in my life that needed cleaning — litters I  ignore, sections of my life that are wobbling out of alignment— especially impatience and believing the best of others .

 

Just as children interact with their environment leaving things out of order, we too in our interactions with our environment —   spouses and children, siblings and in-laws, colleagues and friends,— unknowingly spawn and leave behind messes. When sequestered in close quarters with people at work, church, home, school—   we, time and again displace emotions and trust: we err in judgement,  speak too soon,  act too fast or not at all, we say too much or don’t speak up as much. We soil our relationships with hurtful words,  prideful tones and indifferent attitudes.  And like little children, we do not readily take the time to assess and clean up after ourselves… Until… 

 

Not until we begin to topple over things. Pressed by stress, discomfort, explosions of anger,  and mostly, eyes, closely watching, prying and seeing our mess, we are coerced to pause, assess  and clean up.

 

What if we prioritized sanitizing our spiritual lives? Worse than the COVID-19 virus and its variantsis the infectious virus ( issues) of the heart. What needless pain we bear, what peace we often forfeit when we neglect our heart condition. What if we heed Peter’s counsel: So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God..  —1 peter 2:1 Message.   This is a daily invitation to you and me to get rid of pride, jealousy, anger, contention, strife, carnality, callousness and all vices that permeate our relationships.

 

Peter dives right into telling us how to live clean lives.  He does not suggest being overtly sin-conscious. Rather, Peter entreats us to drink deep (crave, earnestly desire, thirst for, consider as absolutely necessary) the pure milk of God’s word like newborn babies.  The same way newborn babies depend on their mother’s milk for their sustenance and growth,  so must we prioritize the nourishment of our souls with God’s word to fully mature—adults, who make fewer messes and readily clean after themselves.

 

As we crave and desire the Word, our love for Christ  —the Word  — also grows. Hence our awareness and desire to love others also grows.  This, I believe, is an antidote for sin consciousness. 

 

As they say, Improvement begins with I. Therefore Lord; I ask for the grace to crave and prioritize your word daily. The diligence to seek you more than I seek earthly things and the strength to pause during my day to meditate on your word so that I may grow up to be mature and whole in God.

 

The problem, therefore, is not that children mess up the house but that children remain children for far too long. 

The problem is not that the house gets littered but that the house is left dirty …and for a long time.

It is not so much a problem that we have issues we need to sort out. It becomes a problem when we leave them unattended…and for a long time. 

I encourage you to earnestly desire God’s word today.

 

God Bless and keep you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(VIDEO) Behold Christmas, Behold the Word Revealed | Spoken Word Poetry

(VIDEO) Behold Christmas, Behold the Word Revealed | Spoken Word Poetry

LYRICS

Behold Christmas, Behold the Word Revealed!

Once upon a time, El-Elyon, the God most high, uttered the Word.

The heavens and the Earth appeared. 

El-Shaddai, the God Almighty, spoke, the galaxies whirled into place, the

light displaced the darkness and the stars blazed up the skies.

At Elohim, the One and only God’s word, the mountains rose and the waters suspended above and beneath the firmament.

Stars obey and the moon shines full at Yahweh’s command.

Jehovah Shammah spoke, and the plants and creatures sprung forth on the lands and on the waters.

El-Olam, the everlasting God is He.

Yahweh, Jehovah is the Lord; His Words unleash power.

He is sovereign; He is eternal, infinite, unrestrained, , unlimited, majestic, awe-inspiring. He is unchanged, unmoved and is never undone.

At creation, the Architect of the Universe bequeathed power and authority to you and I.

Power over sickness, anger, fear, anxiety, depression and all forms of harassment.

Alas, power and authority relinquished to the enemy through deceit. We lost sight of our value, we lost sight of our identity.

Amidst the heartbreak, Abba, our Father, sought flesh to reveal himself to flesh.

The one who existed in the beginning with God put on flesh and came to a speck in the Universe

called the Earth.

At Christmas, we celebrate the introduction of Jesus, we celebrate the Word made flesh, we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us.

Endeared to His prime craft, the creator came to live with the created. He who held the

dust of the earth in a basket became flesh to be seen, touched and known by flesh.

Compelled by love, the king of the world became a servant in the world. The immortal,

invisible God made himself visible to be held by mere mortal.

What love is this that the owner of the goldmines of the world should find no place to be born but in a lowly stable?

For the one who designed the sun was smitten by the heat of the sun.

For love’s sake, Omnipotence restricted his potency; the unrestrained in power restrained His own ability.

The unlimited God confined himself to flesh to feel pain, to love the unworthy; to be insulted and be betrayed by flawed men.

At Christmas, it is not Santa Claus, we praise.

The Living Word, the friend to the poor, He, we raise. We extol the Father to the fatherless, the relentless in love and the unhindered in power.

We hail the Word made flesh, we hallow Jesus, the one who grants us access to eternal life.

Behold Christmas!  behold my truth revealed, my identity uncovered.

Christmas knocked on my door. In His hands had my new identity. He said “Your name is beloved, for you are my delight. You don’t belong to shame, anger, fear, anxiety or intimidation anymore.

You live somewhere else, in Me.

Your past? I don’t recall”. “Like a bird,” He says, “Soar in me, blossom in righteousness; for my spirit of rightness is in you.

For you are an heir of my kingdom and joint-heirs with me. Yes, you’re worth the riches in glory.” A new position He’s placed us— the heavenly places.

Because of Christmas, a sound mind He’s bestowed on us, for we’ve been joined to God, and he who’s joined to the Lord, is one with Him.

Because of Christmas, our reality is faith. For we walk by faith and not by sight.

Yes, we are strong, we are courageous, we walk in favour and we walk in truth.

Behold Christmas! Behold a new breed, behold a chosen generation, behold peculiar people, behold sons and daughters of the Almighty, behold kings and priests.

Behold the Word revealed!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given

And His name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!

Behold Christmas! Behold the Word revealed!

Merry Christmas!!!

Why Christmas? Three Reasons And Its Promises.

Why Christmas? Three Reasons And Its Promises.

Photo by  Any Lane from Pexels

 

Have you ever wondered, ”Why on earth did Jesus come?” Have you often thought? ” I don’t see the fullness of God’s promises in my life.  I am in debt, I feel bound by my fears and past mistakes, I am sick in my body.’’  Perhaps, you are addicted to habits that you know are wrong. Maybe, you feel stuck, or you don’t have the time or the resource to do the things you feel called to do. Do you sometimes ask if the promises in the bible are true, or even attainable?

God’s promises like:

  • ‘’ You shall lay your hands on the sick and they will recover’’ Mark 16:18
  • ‘’You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow.’’ Deuteronomy 28:12
  • ‘’I will restore you to health and heal your wounds’’ — Jeremiah 30:17
  • ‘’The LORD will make you the head, not the tail’’ —Deuteronomy 28:13
  • ‘’All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.’’—Isaiah 54:13
  • ‘’And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.’’ — 2 Corinthians 9:8

Furthermore, the scriptures say in Colossians 1:19, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.’’ 

So, you may say,  if Jesus came to reconcile everything to Himself, and If He came so that my life will be restored to God’s original intent, why do I still have many problems? If He came to bring peace and harmony to things on the earth and in heaven, why am I sick, why am I in debt, why is there conflict in my marriage, why do I have incessant relationship issues? Why am I stuck in this job; in this place that I did not intend for? Why on earth did Jesus come?

”If you’ve ever asked these questions even in the dim recesses of your mind, you’re not alone.

Do you know that God’s promises are not automatic. For instance, that your parents paid your school fees to have you enrolled in the world’s best school does not necessarily mean you’ll have the best education. To glean from the impeccable reputation of that school, you’ll be required to diligently engage in all the classes and subjects taught at the school. You’ll need to take steps every single day to meet your parent’s expectations. Similarly, Jesus has given you and I access to His promises. Having them work in our lives depends on our diligent engagement 

 

 

Three (3) reasons you and I may not have reaped all the Promises of Christmas

Allow me to share these three reasons from the bible

1. what you see

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light’’ — Matthew 6:22 

 

What do you see in the challenges you face? How do you interpret your problem? The scriptures say, when our eyes are flooded with the light from God’s word, we’ll be able to see every situation in its true light, beyond the natural. Stop looking merely at the natural state of things in your life, in your health, in your marriage, in your finances. Look and see the promises of God in view.

Also, 11 Cor 5:16 -17 says, ‘’ Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a purely human point of view. Though we once regarded Christ this way, we do so no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creature, old things have passed away, behold the new has come.’’ 

 

That means we do not estimate ourselves in terms of our natural standard.

  • So, in our health, we don’t go by how we feel neither do we accept the doctor’s verdict as final, rather we see God’s word as preeminent.
  • We do not judge ourselves, our children, our spouse or friends by how they act, we extend grace from the picture we see of them from the Word.
  • We do not estimate our wealth merely by the tangibles —bank statement, the number of houses, or the income that comes in every month.
This is so because every born-again Christian is now grafted in Christ according to Corinthians 5:16. This means you and I are new species, we are a new kind, a supernatural kind. As a result, 

 

  • We do not let only the physical matter —money, time, skill — to determine what we accomplish on a daily basis, this drives a greater level of self-accountability.
  • Our lives are not merely governed by our physical ability but by God’s supernatural enablement.
  • Our bank account is not my financial worth, the riches of heaven is, so I give generously
  • You see our spouses, children, friends, colleagues and neighbours with the eyes of God— reconciled to Christ.

In other words, we all must stay long enough in the word with a laser focus on God’s promises regarding all issues of concern. Our focus determines what we think for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he—  Proverbs 23:7. God’s reality must become our reality, our physical constraints notwithstanding before we can experience God’s promises.

2. What you do

Like a driver on a steering wheel, with eyes flooded with light and looking in the right direction. He’s now able to see clearly to take the next step — Drive.  

 

After we’ve received the true picture of that problem from the Word of God, what do we now do with the promises? In that spiritual gift, in that health situation, in that marriage matter, in that career you are passionate about, what steps are you taking on a daily basis to take hold of God’s promise?  Are you taking steps that drive you towards or away from the prodding of your heart? Many a promise has been hijacked on the path of convenience; many of us have traded conviction for convenience.

It is critical that we determine to take steps towards God’s promise even when we don’t feel like it. For the righteous live by believing and not by seeing — 2 Corinthians 5:7

Hence, the question arises:

 

  • ‘’ Now that I believe the promises of God that say, ‘ I am the head and not the tail,’ am I exerting myself towards being the head through God’s outlined principles —, planning, hard work, study and diligence?’’
  • ‘’Now that I believe that God’s grace abounds towards me, am I trying out those God-given ideas that naturally scare me?’’
  • ‘’Now that I believe that I will lend to nations and not borrow, am I taking steps to be financially empowered? Am I paying attention to meet the needs around me, am I giving generously?’’
  • ‘’Since I believe that I will lay my hands on the sick and they will recover, do I exercise my faith on myself and on my relatives when they fall ill?’’

For “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”  Eccl 11:4. Moreover,  obedience is the single ingredient to securing God’s promises for ‘’If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall reap the fruit of the land.’’— Isaiah 1:19

So, our focus gives us the right perspective, and taking steps of faith propels us in the right direction. Yet, one thing remains, for an ever fruitful and peace-filled life.  This one —commitment.

3. How often you do — Commitment

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9  

 

To be committed means to be loyal and dedicated to a cause. It is following a set of principles, cause of action or instructions to show our devotion; it is doing even when we don’t feel like it. Commitment keeps us going in tough times. Without commitment, we cannot have depth in anything _ Neil Strauss

In every issue of concern, the Lord calls us to be consistent with His principles and instruction for the problem.  Why? Because God’s Words never fail. So are you trusting God for healing in your body? Consistently declare and act out His promises of health. Are you trusting God for salvation for a lost one? Be committed to prayer for that one. Trusting for financial freedom? Commit to good planning and hard work. Be committed until your clouds become full. Because when clouds are heavy, the rains come down. — Ecclesiastes 11:3. 

In conclusion,  Hebrew 4:10 says ”For all who have entered into the rest of God have ceased from their own labours, just as God did after creating the world. 11: Let us, therefore, be zealous and exert ourselves ( in prayer, in praise in reaching out, in hard work, professing the word)  and strive diligently”

To experience the rest of God in all areas of our lives, we must be zealous (to show a strong energetic desire to get something done)  and exert ourselves and strive diligently in the word, in prayer, fasting, study, including holding up our confession in the face of opposition. God’s promises are free, but they are not cheap.

 

Did you know that the destinies of your children and your neighbours may be dependent on you? Will we discipline ourselves and strive until we see God’s perfect will in their lives? Here’s a perfect story of commitment seen in this woman who prayed for her unsaved husband for 27 years and thirteen hours even in the face of death.

Questions to Ponder

  1. What’s taking your attention? Are you focusing your lens on the truths of the word of God or on the fibs of the media and the culture?
  2. What are you expending your time, your energy and resources on?
  3. Do you act the word in spite of how you feel?
  4. Do you treat your child, spouse, colleagues, friends based on how they treat you or do you respond to them with the knowledge of God’s will for them?

Prayer

Lord, I thank you for your promises as a result of Christmas. Help me set my focus on your word; for the things which I see are temporal but the things which I do not see are eternal. I thank you that  I am a new specie because I am in-grafted in you. I can do all that I need to do through Christ who strengthens me. With your help, I choose to see, talk, and act the word. I choose thanksgiving instead of complaints.  I believe your word instead of peoples’ experiences. Thank you for the blood of Jesus that has reconciled me to Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

 

 

 

 

Hef-zibah Recounts Her Blessings — How The Pandemic Braced and Then Rocked Her Life (Part 1)

Hef-zibah Recounts Her Blessings — How The Pandemic Braced and Then Rocked Her Life (Part 1)

 —A Story from Hef-zibah in Calgary

 

Before 2020, we were productive and used to being swamped. Sounddior, our music school in Calgary was thriving. We scampered through the day and raced to the finish line of every day. Hearing children’s excited voices drifting in and out of our house delighted us. We were making music, learning songs, teaching piano and guitar lessons. We were sharing our lives, engaging our passions, and connecting with our students. What more could we ask for? Everything seemed great.

Our basement-turned-classroom became a treasured place to many of our students. It thrilled myself and my husband to serve and minister to our pupils in this area. We loved those kids; we adored them and didn’t mind giving them our best. The only problem however, was that the pressures of holding a full-time job and running our music school were relentless.

In catering to the occasional needs of our students —snacks, after lesson entertainments, pick-ups, and drop-offs and ever so often, child-minding — we unwittingly blurred the lines between business and our personal lives. It was usual for us to make countless trips, picking up and dropping off students up until late into the evenings. As the excited moments mixed with unrelenting work turned to days, and the days rolled into weeks which dovetailed into months, our bodies gradually slipped into exhaustion.

 

Come Covid 19.

Do we move online or not?

In April 2020, we thought to move online. However we wondered if our students would willingly adopt the move to online school. We prayed that the Lord would let us retain at least half of our students. After much musing, we concluded that the benefits of going online far outweighed the fears of any unknown. We eventually took the leap of faith and plunged online. And much to our surprise, about eighty (80%) of our clientele transitioned online with us. The good part was that those who previously couldn’t enrol at our school because of distance could finally enrol. How sweet!

 

Not only did the Lord sufficiently supply for us in a season of economic upheaval, mental weariness, and surging uncertainty, He also rejuvenated our minds and bodies. Where we’d been previously too tired, too fast, too drowsy, too exhausted to continue enjoying the traces of joy, health, and blessings that were right in front of us, God slowed us down. He helped us to catch our breath and then to catch an even greater sight of Him.

 

The year 2020 ushered us into a place of new insights and increased opportunities. That’s why this Christmas, we couldn’t help but say, “Thank you Lord! How great thou art, oh Lord! How great Thou art! We are so grateful for all you’ve done and continue to do! Thank you, Jesus!”

Now, I’d like to say that this was the end of the story. But no, this was only the drive out of the driveway. The days that would follow led us through paths we had never treaded.  We clinched onto the edge of our seats desperately pleading for the ride to come to a halt. And when it did, our lives never remained the same. Kindly watch out for Part 2 of this story.

Like my friend Hef-zibah, this Christmas, let’s take some time to reflect on all our blessings.  As comely as presents, gifts sharing, sumptuous food, friends, family, light and decorations are, Christmas is so much more. It’s loving and truly appreciating the one, who steps into our mess to cleanse us, forgive us and reconcile us to the father. Amidst the bustle of the season, may we find the solitude to give Him our hearts.  For Proverbs 23:26 says ” My son give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways”. This is the reason Jesus came. And don’t forget to reach out and bless the less fortunate.

 Merry Christmas to you and your family. And feel free to share with us what your blessings are in the comment below or better still  share your story.

 

Kindly check out our previous Christmas writings.

A Christmas Spoken Word / Poetry

Why Christmas? Three Reasons and its Promises

 

Stay tuned for Part two (2) of Hef-zibah’s story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the Purpose of the Law – Dead to the Law?

What is the Purpose of the Law – Dead to the Law?

The Christian is no better than a non-Christian, but he is infinitely better off. It is like two men on a plane, one of whom is wearing a parachute while the other is not. Neither is better than the other, but the man with the parachute is certainly better off than the man who is not wearing a parachute. The difference will be seen when they jump from the plane at 20,000 feet. Jesus warned that if we “jump” into death without Him, we would perish. Culled from the School of Biblical Evangelism.

 

 

 

A Good Person

 

In a recent discussion with Dan a tall, smart-looking, teenager whom I met by the church walkway. We talked school, life and then God. As our talk traversed to morality, — right, wrong, and being good — Dan my new acquaintance revealed to me he was as good as most Christians.  ‘’ I am better than many people I know,” he maintains.   ”I try my best to be good. I tell a few lies occasionally; I curse a mite. However, I also do many good things: I volunteer ofttimes and usually donate to charity. I believe my good outweighs my bad, therefore I am a good person ‘’ He pronounced.

 

As genuine as Dan sounded, I see two misconceptions with this thinking. First, this reasoning exalts the idea that the law is a checklist for salvation. Second, this thinking exonerates the offender based on the feelings and perceptions of the same offender. Imagine with me that you accidentally poured a cup of filthy water or slurry on the dark-colored clothes you had on. This dirt, as filthy and horrible as it was, may not be obvious on that piece of clothing. You can quickly try to wipe off the filth off your cloth without it showing off as many dents and stains. Now, conjecture you pour this same dirty fluid on your immaculate white cloth. A drop of this fluid is likely to draw attention to the mess. The white clothing screams, help! I’m stained. I’m dented. I’m filthy.

 

 

 

The Law Highlights Sin

 

The law is like that immaculate white cloth. The same filthy liquid – that was tucked away by the dark colored material is highly accentuated by the pure white clothing. The law makes sin exceedingly sinful. When you and I engage in that ‘’tiny sin’’ – tell a little lie, gossip a little, shortchange our employer’s time and resources for personal time and benefit, take a sneak peek at that porn, lust for what others have, commit adultery or fornication, use the Lord’s name in vain. To you and I — the corrupt dark-colored piece of clothing. It appears as nothing; we understate wickedness and ill (Psalm 14:1) saying things like: It affects no one; no one sees it, it’s nothing; it feels good.

 

 

 

”Nothing in all of creation is hidden. Everything is laid bare before the eyes of whom we must give account ” (Hebrew 4:13). Now, because that ”tiny sin ‘ is exceedingly sinful in the eyes of God and because God is Holy, just and righteous, God must punish every wrong. Hence the payment of all sin is death (Romans 6:23)—sickness, dis -ease, confusion, pain, frustration, temporal and eternal condemnation and separation from God the source of life. In the same breath, God is exceedingly merciful and loving. He does not want for any of us to be subjected to the penalty of sickness, dis-ease, confusion, pain, frustration and eternal condemnation. God offered his son Jesus Christ who completely fulfilled ALL the law. And by extension, when we place faith in Jesus Christ, we satisfy the law in and through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:4).

 

 

 

The Good News

 

This is a gift. Not a reward, an entitlement or a salary. For God the father made Jesus Christ who knew no sin to be sin for you and me, so that we can be made right with God (2 Cor 5:21). In other-
words, Jesus took upon Himself your ”tiny sin” The gossip, those evil inclinations of your heart, the backbiting, the fornication, homosexuality, pornography. He was punished for your sake so that your death penalty — sickness, dis -ease, confusion, pain, frustration, temporal and eternal separation from the source of life — is totally cancelled and annulled in Him.

 

 We must not reduce godliness to deeds but to an unwavering, consistent desire for more of Jesus Christ.

 

For the non-christian, who accepts this free gift, he dies to the law through the crucified body of Christ. Meaning that he no longer looks to the law in and by itself to justify him. When he yields, — surrenders, bows, clings, unites to Christ Jesus, the one who was raised from the dead, then he begins to bear good fruit for God (Romans 7:4). My friend, if you haven’t already, will you choose to unite with Christ Jesus today and be discharged from the power of sin and addiction? Are you tired of the life of purposelessness, a life of fear, anxiety, panic, frustration, apathy, guilt, bondage and fear of death? What will you lose if you place your confidence in the one who’s lived long enough to know the end of a mere mortal? What will you give in exchange for your soul? (Mark 8:37). What would be your destination when you jump into death without Jesus Christ?

 

The Decision

 

This makes grace truly amazing: that Jesus takes all your rebellion and my pride, your filthy sexual perversions and my stinking self-righteousness and nailed them to the cross so that you and I can be made right with Him. If you totally surrender (give in, yield, submit, succumb) your whole existence —your thoughts, your time, your resources, your words, your relationships — to Him. If you accept this gift by making Jesus your Lord, your master and your teacher, Jesus will give you a new heart and a new desire (Ezekiel 36:26). Yes! He replaces all those mental strongholds of suicidal thoughts and anxiety and gives you His own thoughts, His own life. He makes you right with Him.

 

If you want to receive this gift of eternal life, please say this out loud (Romans 10:10) to the Lord right where you are. ‘’I am a sinner lost in wickedness and confused in darkness. I have sinned against you by my —-(name your sins). Please forgive me dear Jesus. Have mercy on me. I am very sorry for my sins against you. I today acknowledge that you are the son of God. You came to this world, and you took my sin so I don’t have to pay for them. I accept you today as my Lord and personal savior. This means that You will be my master and that you’ll be in charge of my life. I will devote time in study of your word to know you more. Please help me Lord.’’

 

If you declared this by faith and really meant what you said. You are now a child of God and are now (already) saved (Rom 10:10).
Please listen to this video below to learn practical ways to grow your relationship with Jesus

 

Faith in God; My Story of Hope and Despair

Faith in God; My Story of Hope and Despair

Faith is about trusting God when you have unanswered questions.” ― Joel Osteen.

In the fall of 2016, I  left Nigeria to take on a Master’s degree in International Relations at a University in Norway. I was excited and looked forward to a splendid life far different from the one I left behind.  As days turned into weeks and weeks to months, however, my dreams of a colorful and brighter future were fast becoming bleak.  There I was, alone in a strange land. I had no job, relatives, or friends, I struggled to find my daily meals. The thoughts of the big fat debt I incurred for my travel  — collecting interest by the minute— consumed me. Every step I took seemed I was walking against the wind. I had to make some drastic changes.

Taste and See

No one told me life was going to be this hard. In despair one day, I asked, is the bible really true?  Is there any truth to its claims? Can I count on Psalm 34:8  Which says to taste and see that the Lord is good? “I need a change so badly and I will do whatever it took,” I thought to myself. “I will make studying the bible and praying, a priority every day,” I said to myself. Not long after  I embarked on this adventure, I started noticing something. I noticed a change in my thought process. I was becoming aware of my thoughts, and the thoughts of God about me and others. Like one who just learned a new language, I could now tell when God instructs me. The daily words and thoughts I heard from God helped me turn my countless worries about groceries, bills and my debts to Him. Moreso, the more I spent time in prayers, the less I felt the need to worry

Obedience, a Test of Faith in God

About my second year of studies, the Lord brought my attention to the few teenagers at the church. I felt the teenagers weren’t catered for and I sensed that the Lord would have me speak to my pastor about it. I hesitated at first, but when I couldn’t resist the Lord’s prompting any further, I told my pastor my thoughts to see the teenager mentored more closely. My pastor welcomed the idea, however, he said: “There’s no one to take on the responsibility, would you take on the responsibility?”

Starting this group was challenging to say the least. We had only two teenagers show up at the start and it didn’t make sense to organize meetings just for the two of them.  I continued regardless— in the rain, sun, or snowy because I realized it was the Lord’s desire.

About this same time too, the Lord instructed me to start a weekly prayer meeting at the church. The pastor embraced this idea as well, but only a handful of people were open to this, so very few attended. On many occasions, I was the only one present at the meetings —this made absolutely no sense to me— however, I knew I shouldn’t stop just yet.

I tried all in my power to be present at all the meetings  —I took Fridays off to give more time to both the teenagers’ fellowship and the prayer meetings. Meanwhile, at this point in my life,  many uncertainties were piling up. Here I was approaching the end of my studies yet I had no clue what my next steps would be.

 More Weights Stacked up

The months that would follow were stacked with even more trial weights. My visa was expiring in a few months, yet as I applied for jobs, dead quietness was all I received. I explored all possible options by applying for a PhD. studies in several countries as well.  About four months to the expiration of my visa, I got an offer to do my PhD. in Scotland. Yeah!!! I was stunned by this offer as I didn’t feel qualified for it. Though elated by the news, somewhere inside me, I didn’t feel it was the right step for me at this point —One more request of clarity added to my many requests.

At my Wits End

I kept on applying for jobs but by May 2019, I became distraught by the negative replies or should I say the dead silence from the companies. I was at my wit’s end or so I thought until the Lord asked me to quit my job at McDonald’s. “Quit my job, Lord, is this you speaking?” I convinced myself I was making this up.  Though this job wouldn’t renew my visa, it sufficiently settled my bills. “But I have no other source of support Lord,” I thought. No, I did not obey, at least not that fast.  My reluctance to obey came with a cost. I became sick and had such excruciating back pain from the job that I had to quit.

Now, with more time left to spare, I spent my days praying, meditating and applying for professional jobs. I had time for church meetings — but still no job.

My Groceries Paid for

I saw untold miracles during this time without a job. I recall one cool afternoon, I stopped by the grocery store to get some biscuits. Just as I headed out of the store, an elderly man whom I’ve met before walked up to me. He said: “The Lord asked me to pay for your groceries,” I stood there bemused. Not sure if I should cry in shock or laugh in excitement. “I don’t have much left at my house”, I thought to myself in amazement.  I  was quite embarrassed by his outlandish offer and almost shied away from the offer. Thankfully, he persisted.   I  returned home that day with a big bag full of groceries. My Landlord at some point wouldn’t even ask for his monthly bills. What was happening?

My Debts Paid

The Lord miraculously cleared my debts too. I got a report a certain week from the Norwegian Tax Office that my annual tax for the previous year was short of 12000 Kr ( $1700).  What a time to owe the government?  I was unhappy. “This is too much for me to bear” I whined.  Again, I turned to God in prayer and He showed me what to do. His instructions were simple:

1. Write down all your debts on a list  (amounting to Norwegian krone 17,000Kr   –  a little over $2,800 Can dollar )

2. Thank me for providing.

I did just that. My friends, before the end of that week, the Lord instructed someone to send me exactly 17,000kr. Incredible? Exactly, I was dumbfounded! I then looked back and realized that though I wasn’t working, God sufficiently met all my needs. The Lord needed me to focus on Him, serving him and others.

Job Search Continues

No, my need for a job didn’t vaporize. Following the disappointments from my many job rejections, I almost lost hope and thought to pursue the Ph.D. offer instead. The problem? The University didn’t release my funding. Anxiety began to swell as I mulled over the possibility of being sent back home.  Ever so often as I meditate on God’s words, His promises reassure my heart with peace like one observing fresh red roses dancing on water. However, I remained clueless.

It was a crisp evening when I visited a friend who had just put to bed. “No news yet” was my response to my friend’s question about my permit and job. Out of concern, my friend referred me to her friend who later sent me two job vacancies she found online. “How is this any different from my previous job applications?” I bemoaned. Reeeluuuctaantly, I summoned some energy and courage to apply for only one of the jobs. About one week later, I received a phone call requesting me for an interview. “This has never happened,” I exclaimed! I was startled at the thought that I almost lost this opportunity.

First-Ever Interview

The interview went well.  At first, the interviewers asked general questions and then asked how I’d been involved with youths. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to tell of my countless experiences working with youths.  The interviewers’ countenance glowed as I passionately narrated my involvement with youths. I had a feeling that I impressed the interview panel.  A few days after the interview, I received a call from the HR department of the company informing me that I’d been offered the job; my contract was sent shortly after that.

I realized that God instructed me to start the youth work not only because of the church or the teenagers but also for myself. God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), and He knew I would need to leverage on that experience to get my job. I eventually got my work permit despite the hurdles and I can only look forward to the glorious future the Lord has for me in this land. Praise the Lord!  God is a good Father.

As I write and think about  this story I can’t help but ask myself and if you will you too, these:

Are you and I intentionally putting in our best foot to listen and hear God’s instructions for us regarding parenting, singlehood, career, business, finances…

Have we been struggling in our healths, relationships, business or studies because we plainly are too busy to sharpen our blades?

Do we persist and continue to do the right things we know to do?

See the Lessons I Learned

 

  • Every challenge and hardship we face is an opportunity to engage deeper; It is a calling to taste and see God’s goodness (Psalm 34:8).
  • “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the ax” —Abraham Lincoln said. We accomplish much more quickly as we sharpen our blades through prayer, meditating on the Word, and obedience. Eccl 10:10
  •  When the clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth —Diligence and persistence is the key to reaping all the blessings God has for us. Eccl 11:3.
  •   God rewards those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrew 11:6

Praise God!

 

— Submitted by Taiwo from Norway

We’d love to hear your stories and chat with you in the comments below.   God Bless You.

God of Wonders: How God Spared my father’s life.

God of Wonders: How God Spared my father’s life.

by | Dec 28, 2018 | Life - saved

This time of the year as I sit back to reflect on my life, I can’t help but recall how God miraculously spared my father’s life in 2017.

It was thick darkness. A man I barely recognized was dragging a piece of material with my father. They both pulled this thing for what seemed like forever. Fidgeting, I watched this struggle occur beside a gaping hole which this man was ferociously trying to push one of my siblings into. I Shriveled in fear at what might happen to my father. My feet glued to the ground as the chills ran down my spine, and… behold, I opened my eyes. Ah! It was all a dream.

In real life though, my dad had been involved in an age-long controversy over some land with some of his kin. I understood from the dream that what I had seen was related to that controversy. I woke up knowing that something terrible might happen. I called my father and asked him about the land. I asked him to pl-e-a-s-e make peace, and resolve the issue.

 

More Death Dreams

Some months had gone by, and again,  I had another dream that my dad died and my mom was in deep grief. Seeing how critical this is getting, I Immediately called my five sisters. We agreed to pray and fast for my dad.  Not wanting to frighten my dad by my dreams, I told him to be prayerful and careful. My sisters and I fasted and prayed and believed that God had heard us.

 Yet again, I had another horrible dream. This time around, my mum and dad were out of town. In guarding my parent’s house, a wise elder in my hometown sent his son to give me a message. The message says, “ Inform your father to set his home in order for he is going to die”. I woke up soaked in perspiration.  I was in utter despair and confusion and my mind was spinning a million and one questions.

 

Your Dad will die in 7 days

To add a cup of glaze over the confusion,  my younger sister called me a couple of weeks later. In a frantic tone,  she cascaded a gloomy prophecy she heard. “My husband went to his hometown” she narrated, “ And decided to visit his longtime friend who was a man of God. the man of God  vividly described our father, his family and the recent occurrences in our family.” He went on to say that my dad had recently lost his brother and was currently burying him ( which was accurate). He now said that my father’s life was in danger. That some close relative wanted him dead. He added that my dad was going to die in seven days if we did nothing. This man instructed that my father should bring some soil from the family home and come to see him for prayers. These words were swirling through my head at lightning speed. “Oh, not again.” I groaned.

 

Is this Prophesy from God?

Totally freaking out! my sister persuaded me that we needed to act urgently. “ Dad must go see this prophet immediately along with everything he requested” she beckoned.  At first, I tried to dismiss the idea as a lie from the pit of hell, but  I was stunned by the degree of accuracy of his description of recent events. “Is this truly from God? But why should we bring some soil from the family home? Should my father go see him?” I had zillion questions. But at that moment, I remembered something the late John Paul Jackson once said: “ Peace is the potting soil for revelation”. Trying to make sense of what I heard. Just then, as in a whisper, I heard in my spirit “ Familiar Spirits”.  Familiar spirits? What on earth could they be?

Plunging unto google, I searched for familiar spirits. I found an article online  that talked  about familiar spirits in the church. The writer of that post went on to say that many prophetic voices in the church are disguised voices of the enemy. That gave me temporary relief.

Meanwhile, at my house, there was so much clamour about going to see this man of God. My sisters were on my neck to approve this dangerous escapade. In fact, even my dad was fearfully preparing to go see this prophet. There was an urgent need for us to act, but deep within me, I felt this fear wasn’t from God.

 

My Friend Asks Me Thought-provoking Questions

 Feeling hedged in, I asked God  “ What do you want me to do?”  We have prayed. We have fasted. Do we have to go to this prophet?  But you also hear our prayers. Besides, you said, “Whatever is not from faith is sin” ( Romans 14:23). In my turmoil, I asked my precious friend what she thought. I will never forget!  She asked me my deep convictions. Her many thought-provoking questions dug up my staunch beliefs about consulting said people to find answers (yes, I believe God gives instructions to his servants about issues, but for some unknown reasons, I couldn’t get myself into agreeing with this prophet’s instructions). But this phrase from my friend was the last straw that kept me resolute in my decision. “ Maybe God is testing you to see how convinced you are of your conviction”

 Hearing that response and seeing the hideous crimes many so-called prophets have rained on families, I was being careful to fall into error. I wanted  God’s will at all cost. With a fast again, I turned my face to the wall like king Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:1-11) and pleaded with the Lord for mercy. I repented a million times for my father and asked the Lord to spare his life, however, he may have deserved death. I promised God, I would publish this story if he spared my father’s life. After much deliberation and praying, I instructed my father to go nowhere but to only fix his eyes on God.

Dear friends, It’s way over one year now, and my father is very well and alive. Hallelujah!

Glory, Glory to God!

 

”I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:2-5).

This is my Testimony. Hallelujah!

 

Some of the Things I Learned

1. Yes, we may be ignorant about some things, but I realized God honors our faith when we apply His Words we already know especially when we are desperately wanting to please Him.

2. We cannot overemphasize the importance of godly counsel in the grey areas of our lives; we are blessed to seek godly counsel from seasoned saints who we know to walk with the Lord. (Psalm 1:1)

3. Sometimes God does not answer yes or no, He expects us to use the scriptures we know to discern His will for our situation

4. Fear is never from God. God may send a warning dream, but the interpretation, declaration and application of the word may be subject to human error if we do not carefully compare it against the ways of God.

5. There are prophets and there are “prophets” how do we know which is which?

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me according to John 10:27-28. Diligently training ourselves in the word helps us recognize when an outlier is speaking.

6. In troubled times, we must set our minds on the Prince of Peace to receive revelation. The word:  “He keeps in Perfect Peace whose mind is stayed on Him” — (Isaiah 26:3) was one scripture I held tightly unto during this fierce windstorm.

 

I am forever grateful to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

How Strong is your conviction?

How Strong is your conviction?

by | Nov 12, 2018 | Blog articles

It was the discussion I had with a young, new-age lady that stirred up the dust. One point that comes up again and again as I share my faith is that of walking the talk.  “ Many Christians don’t act according to their confession’’ she said. “They live defeatedly and have a low mentality to life.” That day, the thought slammed my head that more than what we say in church, more than what we tell family, friends, and colleagues,  our posture in the face of life toward a sick relative, unemployment, a bumpy marriage, disappointment, ill-treatment from people is a far greater witness. Our actions and responses to life outside the walls of the church prove our convictions

 

For Every 100 Decisions for Christ, 80 – 90  Fall Away

The statistic from the organizers of a  Salt Lake City concert revealed that  “ Less than five percent of people who respond to an altar call during a public crusade in 1991 are living a Christian life one year later. In other words, about 95% of people do not continue to live the faith life after their faith confession. Despite the absence of intense persecution like those experienced in the Middle East, our conviction is fast eroding. How can we develop a strong conviction in our Christian faith?

 Knowing the challenge of continuously living out our faith, Paul exhorts us in Colossians  2:6-7, saying “And now, just as you received Christ Jesus as your Lord,  you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Roots grow into God

 I firmly believe there’s a correlation between our roots and being built up. There is a strong relationship between our initial reaction to the Word of God we hear, the strength of our faith, and our resulting impact.

Rooting Affects Building

 

The strength of a tree lies in its roots. Amidst toils and life challenges,  we must keep at making every effort to keep Jesus’ Word and His love nature at the focus of our view. From the scripture above, I notice two key strategies from a tree that makes us people with an emboldened faith whose confession match their walk: developing deep taproots as well as fibrous/lateral roots.

 1. Developing Taproots through Consistent Meditation

 Taproots are critical in the formation of a tree. They are usually large, central, and deep-rooted; taproots are the base from which other roots sprout laterally, and they enable plants to gain water from greater depths.

 Setting out regular quality time to meditate and ponder God’s word is akin to developing taproots. Most of the problems we face today arise from a  lack of understanding. However, the insight we receive from any Word or scripture verse is directly dependent on the quality of thought and time we give it.  Just as farmers must work the soil to get their produce, so must we work God’s word into our minds and heart to receive light (Psalm 119:130).

 Meditation requires diving in and thinking deeply about God’s truth for our lives and situations. The need for meditation became critical for me when I embarked on a master’s degree with four little kids in 2013.  Inundated by chores, academic work, and family responsibilities; I found gazillion reasons why I couldn’t carve out solitude time to digest God’s word. As a result, my emotional life began spiraling downward until I heeded the Holy Spirit to meditate regularly. Consistent meditation eventually opened my eyes to God’s grace, mercy and strength, helping me go through that season in my life victoriously. Meditation equips us with the spiritual muscle to delve deep into  God’s fertile soil to access His grace for now and for the rainy day

 2. Developing Lateral roots through God Consciousness

 The lateral or fibrous root, unlike the taproot, does not penetrate as deeply into the soil. Instead, the lateral root helps to create a thick network of roots that are good at holding the soil together. Similarly, there are seasons in our lives where we find our selves in a maelstrom whirlwind. In those moments, we’re unable to find a foothold for our legs let alone set out regular quality times with God. Being constantly aware of God’s divine presence in the midst of life disruptions keeps our minds intact.

 

With interruptions in our lives like new routines in the home, a sick family member in the hospital, arrival of a new baby, as arduous as it may sound, we still want to strive to fill our days with times for prayer and reflections.

 

I encountered such a disruption at the beginning of this school year when we moved our daughter to a new school. My daily routine turned upside down. I remember, one-time God led me in setting alarms at different times in the day, reminding me to pray for my husband, my kids, and the church— Five-minute prayer here, three minutes mulling over scripture there, an encouraging text to a friend in there — all go a long way. Christ consciousness is about seeing and finding God in our mundane tasks. Talking to God about now and reaching out to hear Him. Like the lateral roots, Christ-consciousness keeps our mind sane in the uproars of life.

 

Here are some ways I’ve learned to practice God-consciousness throughout the day

 

  • Pondering a part of scripture while taking a shower, walking or driving to work
  • Praying while doing the dishes or folding the laundry
  • Praying for a friend as they come to mind
  • Setting alarms to pray for kids, spouse, and relatives
  • Setting a time to pray for leaders, pastor, and church
  • Call an old-time friend or a relative
  • Send flowers or drop by to visit a senior
  • Praying during morning jogs
  • Sharing my faith on the street
  • Conscious of God’s help when trying a difficult task
  • Thanking God often for seemingly small things throughout the day

 

Being aware of God, what he has done and what he is doing in our lives, in our cities and people around us builds us up according to Psalm 28:5.“ Since they care nothing for what the LORD has done or for what his hands have made. So he will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt .”

 

While meditation helps us build long-lasting habits of waiting, hearing and receiving bountifully from God, God-consciousness helps us apply the truths we already know about God, His ways and His character in seasons when life tries to dictate otherwise. Both principles are crucial to making our roots grow down into Christ, and our faith grows strong in truth.  

 

We must hold firm to the faith in which we first believed. “Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13

 

God Bless You!

 

My Life Before and After Drugs; How God Saved My Life

My Life Before and After Drugs; How God Saved My Life

by | Jun 23, 2018 | Life - saved

I was probably fourteen (14) the first time I smoked pot.  As a teenager, I became involved with a group of kids who experimented with drugs. We would gather together for fun and smoke dope or do harder drugs like LSD or MDA. Most weekends we would have parties that often involved doing drugs, drinking and listening to music.  This eventually led me to use needles to get high.

One night, I had decided to take things to a higher level, so I filled two needles with MDA and shot them at the same time. “It was powerful.” I thought.

Many nights, as I look back now, I recall my friends trying to take my drugs away from me. I won’t forget one particular night I woke up after a dramatic drug experience, my friends called me aside and told me how I’d scared them. They said I’d gone too far and asked what was wrong with me.  As I walked home that morning, I recounted my foolishness and began to consider what I’d done.  I said to myself “I could have died, how could I be so stupid?”

It was there that something extraordinary happened: I heard this voice, a startling voice that said, “Yes you could have died, but I didn’t let you because I have a purpose for your life.” I was sure someone came up behind me and said this because it felt so real. However, when I turned around, I was all alone; this scared me even more and left a lasting bang in my life.

 

Shortly after this incident, I stopped doing hard drugs but smoked occasionally; thankfully, I was never addicted to drugs.

 

We were not staunch Christians, but we sometimes attended a United Church just a few blocks from our home. The time came when my family decided to move from Edmonton (Canada) to Calgary, to pursue a business opportunity.  Meanwhile, I remained alone in Edmonton.

After about a year my parents moved, my family was struck by a severe tragedy; my youngest brother was accidentally killed.  That was probably the lowest point of my life.

“My brother’s death was an opportunity for me to leave Edmonton; a chance to leave the negative influences in Edmonton and start all over again”.

I eventually joined my parents in Calgary and soon became friends with a boy whose parents were friends of my parents.  He and his parents were Christians and there was something striking about him that drew me to him.  I think his family may have been trying to lead us to Christ.

As a direct result of my brother’s death, we began attending a church nearby to seek comfort. During this time, I went through a time of soul searching and exploring other faiths.  I read the Bible and the book of Mormon. Finally, I rejected the book of Mormon but continued to read the Bible occasionally.

One day, someone invited me to hear a young evangelist speak at a church we attended occasionally.  It was there that I heard the gospel clearly spoken. Thus, I decided to ask Jesus to forgive me and come into my life. I felt weird and quite confused as people hugged me.

The young evangelist told me that I needed to read the Bible and attend church so that I can grow.  This marked the start of my journey. Thank God! That journey has taken me a long way through many challenges and amazing experiences in my quest to know Christ more intimately.

 

Reasons to Quit the Drugs and Alcoholism

The flashbacks I experienced when I overdosed on LSD: These flashbacks were magnified when I smoked dope, and they terrified me.

Often I was awakened in the night with my heart beating furiously, and I would hear noises in my mind. It sounds like a massive wind-up machine that would release once it reached optimum strength.

Hereafter, I would see hallucinations as if I were stoned on LSD again. I was afraid the horrible feelings would never go away.Click To Tweet

Drugs entrap!!

When I started doing drugs, it was for fun; but apparently, there were risks that far outweighed the rewards.

Why Christians Need to Pray for Unbelievers

Looking back now, I wondered if anyone was praying for me to come to the Lord. The only one I could think of was maybe my grandmother. (My father’s mom). Although she never told me, and we never discussed spiritual matters, she was perhaps the only one I knew who attended church.

Paraphrasing 2 Corinthians 5: 14-15, We who have received the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ have a grave responsibility to no longer live for ourselves. But instead to be compelled by God’s love to witness, care for and pray for those around us who may be making bad choices.

The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (James 5:16)

 

My Advice to Anyone Contemplating Drugs

Drugs seem fun initially, but they momentarily become hazardous. Due to my foolishness, I became infected with hepatitis C. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered this.  At the time there was no cure; it was only last year that I received a costly treatment. Thank God! My liver was getting to a dangerous place, it could have killed me.

Motivated by My Past

Once I became a Christian, I was stirred to be a good influence on other young people and hopefully, help to prevent some of my mistakes reoccur in their lives. I joined an organization called Youth for Christ; they had a big reputation for reaching young people.  My friend and I enlisted the same day; we saw many delightful testimonies there.

My friend and I rented a large house and would often invite troubled teens to live with us. It was a tough time, yet exciting and fulfilling. We managed to get the youths involved in a program through Youth for Christ called Worth Unlimited where they worked and learned some life and social skills. One of these young people was a young man named Pat Nixon who became the founder of  The Mustard Seed a wonderful organization that ministers to many of our down and trodden out people of society, praise God!

God has done a fantastic work of transformation in my life; I can only thank him and give my life to Him as an expression of gratitude. He set me free from sin, and much more. God has a beautiful plan for each of our lives, His plan goes way beyond our understanding and even beyond our wildest imaginations.

I have been a Christian now for over 40 years now. He has blessed me with a beautiful wife, five great kids and soon to be five grandchildren. He has given me hope and a reason to live.

 

Drugs brought death and destruction, but Jesus brought life, peace and wholeness. (John 10:10)

Hallelujah!

Story from Rob, Calgary

 

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God bless you.

Let’s Talk About It; Confronting Others

Let’s Talk About It; Confronting Others

by | Jun 12, 2018 | Blog articles

‘When you really listen to another person from their point of view and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.”— Stephen Covey   When I had my fourth child three yrs ago, I felt let down by my very good friend. Several months passed yet my friend had not visited me.  I wondered how I offended her. “What did I say to her to make her treat me this way?” I questioned myself. The more I mulled over it, the deeper the pain got. “It was okay for others not to call or visit, but not her.” I reasoned. Each time I thought about how she had not called or even visited, I would sense a gentle prodding to pray for her instead. After several months of tossing and turning those thoughts,  from a place of hurt, I started praying about the issue.  Inspired by Matthew 5: 43-46, and I Corinthians 13: 4- 7, when negative thoughts came whistling, I would say things like “ I believed the best of her, I am not easily offended, I love her… “ Before now, we would speak over the phone, but I was too hurt or angry to talk about it. I glossed over what was bothering me.   After I read in Ephesians 4:25, which says “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.” I decided to call my friend and ask her why it took her so long to call when I had my baby and why even now getting to a year (at the time) she hadn’t visited. I explained that given how hectic it was with three other kids, the least I expected from her ‘my dear friend’ was to act like she didn’t care.   A little background info here: My friend had not had a child for five years (at the time). I was surprised when my friend explained that she was pregnant some months earlier but miscarried the baby at about the same time I had my baby. It was too painful and traumatic for her to bear; this made her avoid the emotional pain me, my house or baby would remind her of. In that moment, chills ran down my spine as we spoke over the phone. All the anger and frustration immediately flushed down the drain.  How selfish I was! How all I have been thinking was myself, my baby, my friend doing this and that for me; expecting everyone to pause their life because of me. Bemoaningly, I apologized for my selfishness.  I thought to myself later that day; she might have been thinking, “Amaka had a set of twins the other time, and now, another baby. When will it be my turn?” That tough conversation was a turning point in our relationship. Today, that friend is one of the few wise confidants God has decorated my life with.  

My point?

 

Talk it out!

Confront people, so you don’t give the devil a foothold. Leviticus 19:17 says  “Do not bear a grudge against others, but settle your differences with them, so that you will not sin because of them.”
  • When we are hurt or disappointed by others, it helps to talk about it. You may never know the reason behind their actions.
  • The devil wants you to think lies about the other person. He uses lies as a stronghold in your mind
 
  • The Bible says in the last days, the love of many shall wax cold because of multiplied wickedness.  (Matthew 24:12)
That’s exactly what’s happening today. We have closed ourselves from people because of hurt and pain. We all smile but we know deep down in our hearts, there’s no genuine connection.  

Someone promised you and failed you?

If you promised — to call, to give money, to do something— and for some unforeseen reason you couldn’t keep your promise, call the person and explain to them. It provides closure for both parties, and you cleanse your own conscience. When we give our word (no matter how trivial) and do not keep it, we harden our conscience over time. On the other hand, If someone promises you and does not keep his word, you call the person and talk it out as well. It keeps you from conjuring up lies in your head about the person. You may never know what’s happening or has happened in the person’s life. And let’s remember that people forget! Life gets so busy that people just forget. In all, remember how we sometimes offend ourselves, our spouses, our children and especially God; yet, God forgives us.  
We will forgive others to the degree we realize how much we’ve been forgiven.
Every encounter with people is an opportunity to get better or get bitter. We determine which, with our response. Finally, Pursue peace with everyone Hebrew 12:14 says. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is,  let’s make it our duty to do the right thing no matter what others think of us.   Be the first to do the right thing. Talk it out! God bless You.