Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Are You Heading to Tarshish?

 At some point in our lives, we reach crossroads that send us into pondering modes; we wonder if we have been living our lives the best way, we ask if we have been handsomely rewarded for the good decisions we made or if we are just another match in a match box. What is it about doing things God's way that is so enticing? So many christians still face tribulations, so many face trials...yet they remain steadfast in faith, something must be wrong with them! So we decide to do things our way; afterall, so many people living in sin seem to get away with every wrong doing they dabble in- they scam people, tell lies, make loads of money and still live the good life. Is serving God truly worth it? 

Beware of these thoughts! Because, like Jonah, they are about to send you on a voyage you did not envisage for yourself. Jonah's story is mainly about his disobedience, but there is also the fact that he turned away from God and tried to do things his way! Like Jonah, when we hatch a plan to do things that are opposite to God's will, everything seems to be smooth sailing and perfect at first. When Jonah decided he was heading to Tarshish which was even farther in the opposite direction from Nineveh, he bought a ticket, boarded a boat and was enjoying the ride....until the storm came, and all his plans were dashed!

Let's bear in mind that turning from God can have grave consequences on how our lives turn out. God is all-seeing and all-knowing, all he needs is for us to trust him and believe he will see us through every situation. Satan on the other hand provides a quick get-away from our troubles. In other words, he provides a boat to Tarshish and makes sure there is room for one more passenger so you can get onboard. The gifts of satan come quickly but there is hell to pay, literally! I remember a man I knew for a few years who lied to get through life. He lied to make money, lied to get jobs, lied, lied and lied, harming so many people in the process, yet living the good life. His day of reckoning came in one of his brand new expensive cars which was involved in an accident and burnt beyond recognition. I hoped when I heard the news that his last words were to seek forgiveness and salvation.

God can take care of all your needs, don't turn away from him! Don't get on satan's boat to 'freedom'. God's gifts are free. Satan on the other hand, never offers free lunch. Turn back to God now. He is waiting for you, arms outstretched and wide open! Be blessed XOXO

Finding Peace by Making Peace

I have become quite addicted to a particular photo blog I discovered about seventy two hours ago. Looking at the faces of the different people and their stories just further affirmed my thoughts that we are more similar as humans than we agree. Everybody has a story and everyone just needs someone to care enough to share or live their stories with. I realize that we crave acceptance which translates into happiness for us all and that informs most of our choices. We measure ourselves against a worldly standard and condemn ourselves for not adding up to the expectations of those around us. The complexities of the world are those created in our choices of achieving that common goal of happiness. These choices of ours might not be popular ones because we all go about achieving our goals in different ways. The concern for another is very secondary and the love and satisfaction of self makes life seem difficult.

Some have been blessed with the wisdom to understand that most of the things we clamour for are nothing compared to being able to discover inner peace. And that nothing leaves a great legacy like the ability to radiate the brightness, peace and love a person feels to one’s neighbours and surroundings. The understanding that we can rule the world, if only we can understand and submit to the person that is really in control of things, is something we all need to come to. Our struggles to live through everyday trying to balance all the odds will be better defined and reduced when we are able to be in tune with our inner man. The ones that have discovered this secret are the ones this world has been given to. They are the meek the bible spoke about.
I was privileged to meet one of such people, our meeting was a short one and it was just a couple of times, she is dead now; but I remember her like I have known her all my life . Her calmness and her gentility helped keep things in perspective. Life is not running away, we can only live it a day at a time. Worries are a human phenomenon but time has proven to us over and over again that what we worry or worried about is nothing.

It is much easier to move forward in life soon as we realize we are not in control of things. There is a greater power that controls us all and the inability to set the right priorities lies at the crux of most of our regrets. To live a fulfilling life, we need to understand what really matters is our submission to the one that is in control who is God Almighty. We need to make peace with Him in order to be at peace with ourselves and the world. The message of love can never get stale. When it is all said and done the real wealth is measured by how many lives we are able to touch. In the joy of many, lies the individual joy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Silence the Jonah in You!!!

Do you have a bit of Jonah in you? You can't say no, because we all do. I am not referring to Jonah's obvious disobedience which has been the focus of this story whenever I heard it being taught. I am referring to Jonah's disdain for the people of Nineveh who he believed were not good enough to receive God's blessings.

I think I have had some Jonah moments when I heard someone got something I badly wanted and had been praying for for a considerably lengthy amount of time. That of course is not the only scenario. I have had my Jonah moments when I saw someone who would not care to listen to the word of God, heading in the wrong path and I just felt 'Oh well! That's not my problem!', turned my face in the opposite direction and acted like I couldn't see that person walking into a ditch. Just like Jonah, we are all likely to have such thoughts once in a while.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Know Where You Stand; Define Your Relationship

I'm not asking you to declare intentions of marriage after one week of knowing each other, nor am I asking that you completely eradicate the foundation of friendship in your relationship. I am simply asking that you should be aware of where you stand in a relationship to avoid being caught in a 'situation-ship'.

It is very common these days that everyone wants to 'go with the flow' to avoid losing out on being with someone they really like or sending the wrong message across. By the wrong message, I mean, many of us don't want to be considered as 'playing unnecessarily hard to get', 'prudish' or 'simply difficult'. That is understandable but how far is too far when the relationship you are investing so much time in, is not defined in any way. 

These days, many individuals approach the opposite sex without knowing what they want exactly from a relationship or even what they can offer, besides superficial qualities. They believe it is ok to be in doubt about a person but still string that person along, and when the 'where is this heading?' discussion is placed on the table, there is a babble about how they don't know what they want, or they care but just can't commit, bla bla bla. My advice? If a person is not sure they want to be with you, it's a diplomatic way of saying they really don't want to be with you but wouldn't mind if you keep them happy till the one they are looking for comes along.

Know where you stand before you decide to go with the flow. It is so easy to be carried away on a wave of emotions and believe it will end in a beautiful fairytale. Perhaps it might but it, will help you to know what you mean to someone. People say relationship definitions don't make a difference; I beg to differ. Defining what you share with someone can help you draw the necessary boundaries. I always tell people there are different categories in my social circle- acquaintances, friends, family, colleagues, and interesting strangers. Everyone should know their place so things don't get awkward. Same way, relationships should be defined so things don't become excruciatingly awkward. If a guy has been hovering over you for months with no declaration of his intentions (courtship, marriage or friendship), it is time to ask him to clear the air. Don't go with the flow that one day you may magically kiss and everything will fall into place. Back in the day, that was a precious thought. These days, the word 'selfish' has been personified and walks around in skirts or pants, looking for who to use without losing anything. Know where you stand! Share your thoughts! 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Learn to Embrace Who You Are Not!

We live in a society that highlights the need to be strong at all times, to never break down and above all, to never show our weaknesses, else we may be pounced upon and taken advantage of. In our bid to hide our weaknesses, we concentrate on them and abandon our strengths. Society says analytical thinkers are the best people, so we all want to think analytically. Society says being skinny and tall is the ideal look so we all starve ourselves, and some of us go in search of bone elongating medicine (that is not a joke; a petite friend of mine was really bothered that science had not gone that far). And of course, there is the perception that fair complexions are more beautiful so we go in search of whitening creams and serums.

What is it with this new treand of being and embracing someone else? We spend so much time working on our weaknesses, we do not improve our strengths. Some of us are not even criticised by society; we simply look in the mirror and highlight every weakness we can see. We self-abuse and then go in search of ways to project the image of perfection. We now live in times where we believe being ourselves is not good enough, we need to be someone else in order to be accepted.

It is ok to accept who you are not and live with it! I mean seriously, when  did the term 'uniqueness' start to lose value? As much as many of us claim to be unique, we are actually projecting someone else's uniqueness to the public. Have you noticed that happy people find it easy to admit their weaknesses, while those who are not willing to accept their weaknesses are often burnt out at school and  in the workplace? It is ok to not be an analytical person or a strategic thinker. It is ok to enjoy doing things that career driven individuals may look down on. It is ok to not be light skinned (I really don't consider a person's complexion as a weakness, but seeing as many people are on a skin bleaching spree, I can only assume it is truly a problem). It is ok to be a certain figure, as long as you are healthy. The size of a person's body isnot necessarily proportional to how healthy that person is. It is ok to be that person that doesn't understand a certain concept- that's why you have other people in teams to help you. It is ok to not be an eager beaver, it doesn't mean you take things less seriously. Be yourself and be aware of who you're not. Accept who you're not- this is one of the few secrets to happiness. Embrace your imperfections- they contribute to the unique you!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Be Grateful for the Little Things

Life is sometimes turbulent and we struggle to see reasons we should be should be grateful. This post is not to make you feel bad or guilty because at some point in our lives, we all struggle to be grateful. I remember a few months ago, I was at church. On that particular day, I did not feel as much joy in my heart as I normally would, and it did not help when the pastor stood to preach and the title of his message was 'Be Grateful'. I rolled my eyes as he started to state that even in negative circumstances, we must be grateful. What?

You're probably wondering why I was rebellious to the message; the truth is not far-fetched. I looked at the pastor from head to toe, he was dressed in a nice suit, well polished shoes, had a Mercedes-Benz C Class parked outside the church and a wife that glowed every time I saw her.. Wasn't it easy for him to preach the grateful message considering he didn't have to worry about basic needs? Food, clothes, shelter, employment were all ticked boxes for him. What about the rest of us who were battling with unemployment or an illness? Did we have reasons to be grateful?

I left without my thoughts changed in anyway and it took a week for me to realize I ought to be grateful. I was trying to overtake a bus when the bus driver decided to pick up speed. The traffic lights ahead were amber and I was facing another vehicle. My life flashed before my eyes but somehow, that traffic light stayed amber long enough for me to avoid colliding into other cars. I parked the car and took deep breaths! Why was I afraid of dying? Because I had hope there was so much more God intends to achieve in my life. And then it hit me! Hope is something to be grateful for! As Christians, we sometimes struggle with the fact that God's promises have not yet come to pass, yet we remain hopeful because we believe they will. So many people do not have such hope.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

33 Surefire Ways To Mess Up Your Marriage(The Don'ts of Marriage) - Alison Bowman

No relationship is perfect and many people have come up with formula on what makes marriages successful. Since, we have been armed with things we ought to do, this list I am about to share is a different angle to look at it. I stumbled on this list of don’ts and I must confess they are on point. You can measure yourself against this scale and set yourself right. Enjoy.
  1. When your spouse comes to you with a problem, you downplay it, saying, “Things will get better in time,” or “You’re blowing this out of proportion.”
  2. When something bothers you, you don’t tell your spouse because your spouse should know not to act this way without you saying anything!
  3. Your relationship with your children is more important than your relationship with your spouse.
  4. You refuse to compromise. It’s your way or the divorce court.
  5. You belittle your spouse because it makes you feel better about yourself.
  6. You constantly brush off your spouse’s sexual advances because you are “not in the mood.” You do not look into ways to get yourself in the mood. Thus, you can’t remember the last time you had sex.
  7. You treat your mother-in-law like vermin, even though you know this bothers your spouse.
  8. You let yourself go. You no longer take steps to make yourself sexy and desirable for your spouse. Sometimes, you don’t even brush your teeth or bother to make sure you don’t have B.O.
  9. You cook your spouse’s least favorite foods on purpose.
  10. You flirt with the opposite sex, even though you know it bothers your spouse.
  11. You refuse to give your husband the “atta boy” for doing mundane things like emptying the dishwasher simply because he never gives you an “atta girl” for doing the same thing.
  12. You never tell your wife that she’s sexy, beautiful or hot, simply because she never thanks you for emptying the dishwasher.
  13. You only hug your wife or grab her rear when you want to get busy. You never do it just to make her feel good.
  14. When your spouse says, “We need to talk,” you reach for the remote control.
  15. You stopped dating your spouse the day you got married or the day your first child was born.
  16. Your idea of the perfect vacation is one you take with the kids. You would never hear of going away somewhere just with your spouse, even though you have many viable baby-sitting options.
  17. You never notice when your spouse has a new haircut because you rarely look at your spouse.
  18. You don’t try to understand your spouse’s hobbies and passions.
  19. You refuse to give your spouse space, because space makes you feel vulnerable.
  20. You don’t take turns reaching each other’s dreams. You think your spouse is there to support you and not the other way around.
  21. You stopped getting to know your spouse years ago. In fact, you just read that sentence and thought, “What else is there to know?”
  22. You belittle your spouse in front of other people.
You can finish reading this post here
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