Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Got Mercy in Your Bowels?

Bode was your driver, he drove you everywhere, sometimes took your friend to places and sometimes, he drove your kids and family members around. He worked with you for about two years and he never once changed his slippers. Yeah, he changed it once, someday you were going for an occasion and you thought it would be a disgrace to have someone like that seen in association with you.

Tola lives in your neighbourhood, she is of school age but she doesn't go to school. 'Why do some people just waste their lives'? You say and then move on to your daily activities. Everytime you see her, you keep wondering, can't she go to school already or find something to do with her life? You shrug.

Your housemaid has been living with you for some months and still wears the same clothes she brought from the village a few months back. Oh and everytime you remember to tell her she is stinking and her clothes are too dirty. You scream at her for having improper behaviour. She continues working with you, and her life never gets any improvement, she has no education and you can't even let her learn a trade...hmmm.

Remember how your parents strugled and paid your way through school, when you graduated, they heaved a sigh of relief. You live in the city now, you have a good job, a comfortable life, well you're not the best among your peers yet but you can afford your three meals and some excesses. Your parents hardly hear from you and when you give them anything, it's because the guilt has almost eaten you up. I shudder.

Your gateman keeps opening your gate, and you don't even know what's going on with him. He looks perpetually sad but you never notice, you're too much in a hurry to go out and come in anyway. Why bother with someone who can't find something better to do with his life?

It's an endless list of things we notice but refuse to notice or more like our lives are too busy to notice. We go on about our lives, it's all about me, myself and I. So long as I'm fine and my immediate family is doing well, glory to God, we can sleep at night.

Do you know what the bible calls true religion? You who goes to church every Sunday but refuses to be a blessing to anyone around you. Trust me, there's someone around you who needs you, who needs something you have. Please, go read James chapter 1, true religion is in caring for the widows, helping the helpless.

I remember Jesus saying how He would cast out people because when he was hungry, thirsty or needed help, they refused to help Him. They'd ask when was this, and He would say, when you didn't do it to any of your brothers, well you didn't do it to me. And He would openly welcome those who have helped out a neighbour, given them a drink, fed the hungry, visited the prisoners, he would welcome them because they did it for Him.

When you can help your brother or sister out, why not do it, instead of praying hypocritical prayers that God should help them solve their problems when the answers lie with you. What good is throwing away your leftovers when your neighbour (not necessarily someone living in your house) is hungry and can't even afford a meal? How rich is your life when no one wakes up in the morning and is able to thank God for you? It doesn't have to be huge but your life needs to be a blessing or it's wasting.

Do you remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man? I bet I don't need to recount it. The bible encourages us to do good to those around us especially those who are in the household of faith.

Don't shut your bowels of mercy. When you see that hungry guy, be nice, that thirsty guy, be nice, you never know when God is testing you and sending an angel your way. And even if it's not an angel, don't you have a thrill when you do something great for someone and they're too blessed they don't know what to say? Selah

PS: This post was inspired by the message my pastor preached on Sunday. I'm still working at it myself!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Grateful!

I will bless the Lord at all times and His praises will continually be on my lips. No matter what my situation or circumstance is, i will bless the Lord. He alone is worthy of praise, honour and adoration. The Lord who shut the mouth of the lions and preserved Daniel in the lion's den is worthy of my praise.

Lord I could go on and on about the wonderful things I read in the word that you have done, infact I could recount a lot of impossible things I have heard you did...I would write a whole page and there would still be more, He is worthy of praise.

I'm grateful for life. Only the living can praise the Lord, only the living have plans and goals. Only the living have a purpose and can think of fulfilling. I thank you Lord that I have life, my family members and friends have life. I praise you.

I'm thankful for my marriage and for a wonderful man who is able to share his heart with me. I thank you father because you keep showing me what love is all about and how to love. I thank you Lord because I have a great marriage and I do not take it for granted.

I'm thankful for doors of opportunity that you're opening. You're the one who opens doors and no man can shut them. I am indeed grateful Lord for the contacts you're giving me. You have set before me an open door and no man can shut it, halleluyah!

I thank you Lord for direction. Your word says I will hear a voice saying this is the way, walk in it, you keep nudging me in the right direction and giving me instructions. For this Lord I am grateful. I thank you that I am not without help.

I'm thankful that I found the car key I was looking for today. I searched everywhere two days ago after i misplaced it but you quietly assured me that I didn't need to stress, I would find it, you made your word good and today, it was right there in the corner pocket of my bag, peeping at me.

Thank you Lord for safe journeys for both my sisters who did a lot of travelling this weekend. I also thank you for keeping my husband in his going out and coming in, he travels a lot but you preserve him, halleluyah!

Thank you Lord for the many answered prayers, even the littlest ones, I don't take for granted. You're a faithful God. I thank you for everyone who will read this post, may they be able to count their blessings. Halleluyah! You're a good God.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Now I'm here...then I'm not...

Earlier this year, I found it easy to update twice a week, i would do a thankful Wednesday post and another post on Sunday or some other day of the week. It came naturally and I was sure I could keep it up. It was with the same optimisim that I started the year that I was blogging. I had so much energy.

I suddenly found myself not updating in a week or in two weeks. It's becoming consistent and now that I'm thinking about it, it's probably something permeating other areas of my life. I don't have as much energy as i did and I need to get it back. It only took my laptop falling ill to fall into a total blog drought. I'm not motivated to update my blog, I'm not motivated to read other blogs.

A few people (bloggers) have asked me what is going on and the truth is, I don't know. I just don't feel up to doing my blog rounds. Please bear with me, maybe I will get my groove back and come to all your blogs and leave comments. I've even read some posts recently and i just didn't feel like leaving comments so i quietly shut the door and walked away. Maybe it's not even a lack of energy, maybe I sometimes get very busy and blogging seems to be taking too much time.

I'm not quitting blogging, I blog because I love to write. I'm just going through a phase that will hopefully pass. Writefreak wants her blogging mojo back but it seems it's not coming back. I think it's something that has to do with more than blogging. Ok, I think I'm rambling as I usually do.

Yesterday I let things get to me, I broke down and stayed in the dumps, the whole day passed and I didn't even have a meal but by the end of the day I was out of it, I'm grateful for that.

Something great happened to me last week. I have a friend, we were best friends in JS 1 to 3 and then we both changed schools and managed to keep in touch for a little while. In those days, there were only handwritten letters, I think we got tired of sending letters back and forth. I ran into her sometime in the late 90s but we didn't talk much and that was the last time I saw her. Last week I started thinking about her, I looked on fb, I didn't see her. It occured to me she might be married and she won't even bear the same surname anymore. I asked someone who thought she could find her, she said she would try to find her. Then four days later, I ran into her in a restaurant, just like that! She lives in this city with her husband and her twins. It was a happy reunion. We've been hooking up since then. It's like picking up from where we stopped and it's amazing that we just found each other like that.

We found a church that we're at home in here in Abuja and it's cool. We didn't want to sample too many churches and God led us to the right one.

My neighbour's children are on hols and they're driving me nuts. I love them but they can be annoying because they're quite rude and don't listen to instructions which drives me up the wall. Yesterday, the oldest one knocked for several hours and I just plain refused to open the door cos I needed to get some work done. Can someone please tell schools to reopen? The summer break has got to be over already.

I'll try swing by your blogs...I have a lot of work on my plate...and it's not going to get lighter. It's good I guess.

See you around!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What's in a Name?

When someone says Writefreak, i answer, even if it's not on blogville because it's something associated with me. It's a name I have chosen to give myself and everytime I hear it, it reminds me of something I am committed to. When I hear Writefreak, my head write and you can't but write, infact you're a writing freak. If someone calls we Writefreak atimes and I haven't put pen to paper in a while, I kinda start to feel guilty. That's me, case in point.

When I hear Joy, I tend to expect that the person bearing the name exudes joy, or at least brings you some form of happiness...don't blame me, blame the person who named them Joy. lol....There are often times you see someone acting contrary to their name and we tend to think, how can her name even be this? I'm not automatically saying your name determines who you are or are not but a name is an identity.

For a few years, I've heard people name their kids and the thought in my head is 'what were they thinking'? When a child is named, it's like a prophecy, it's more than just something to call the child. Why do we avoid cursing ourselves or using negative words on ourselves especially as Christians? Because we know the power of life and death is in the tongue and the bible lets us know that those who love it will eat the fruit thereof. I don't want to be calling my child any name that makes no sense.

In the days of the bible, whenever God wanted to change a man's life, He changed His name. He changed Abram to Abraham, he became a father of many nations. Sarai his wife became Sarah, God changed her name and changed her story. He changed Jacob's name to Israel because Jacob met with God. Jabez's name was not recorded as literally changed but I remember the bible saying his name meant sorrow. What kind of a mother names her child sorrow? His life was hopeless, going nowhere cos the sorrow followed him about until he called out to God and then he became more honourable than his brothers (1 chroniceles 4:8 -11). What's in a name you ask?

Saul became Paul when his days of persecuting Christians became over. His name changed and his life and lifestly change. He became the most popular Apostle....there are a lot of examples in the bible, these are only a few.

I'm not totally for changing surnames because I believe some people have carried it to an extreme and I believe when you become a child of God, your history changes and your past becomes hidden under the blood of the lamb. I understand that for some people though, there is a need to change their names. They need something symbolic to know they have escaped their past and hey it happened a lot in the bible. It's a matter of personal conviction i guess...

What I don't understand is people who have a choice giving their children names that will affect their self esteem. Aside the spiritual implications of the name, there's also the psychological implications. We all know how people get taunted by their names in school. Classmates can be mean, who wants their child to be the object of some mean children's bullying?

I got thinking last week in church when there was baby dedication and the pastor asked parents for the names of their children, why they gave them the names and in some cases, the meaning of the names. It got to some guy's turn, they had twins, most of us were busy wowing and awwwing,then it came time to say their names and he said 'their names are gotten from the word salvation'. Pastor asked again what the names were. He said the first one was Salvo..hubby and I were like what on earth! Then hubby said 'ok, ok, it's the Italian word for salvation'. We were cracking up..see..we were already having fun at the child's expense unknowingly. Then the second one, he said the name is 'Salv' or will it be spelled as 'Salve' now. The whole church gasped and some laughed. I was like what in God's name was this man thinking? Was he not thinking about this children? Well I have a single advise for the little ones, once they get to school age, they should quickly start using their middle names as their first names, that's hoping those make some sense. I might be hoping for too much.

I've heard all sorts of names, someone called his kid Senator, is that even a name? I said well he could have called him Accountant since it's by position now..Aloted told me how twins in her church were named Barrack and Oba,a. Dear Lord, do some parents even think? A friend told me how a couple had not decided the name for their child on the day of the naming ceremony. They kept the pastor waiting over 30 minutes. Dear Lord, they had at least 9 months to do that.

I think a name should be well thought out and even prayed about. You don't want people speaking negatives into your kids lives everytime they are called. You don't want them taunted all the time either. My kids won't be having names that mean nothing or names that will make them the object of being taunted..

I ask you, what's in a name?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

And I'm here again...

Dear Lord,

Yes it's me, your daughter, the one who said she would be here on wednesdays to give know Lord even when i don't write publicly here, my heart is grateful to you (or maybe not atimes). I don't even need to say it when you see right through me. You know my deepest thoughts.

First of all Lord, I'm grateful that you've brought the first half of the year to an end and I am alive to start the second half. Then I'm reminded that the year is going so fast and I'm not even sure of the achievements I've had this year. Ok, I shall not whine about that Lord, I'm grateful to be here, nothing missing, nothing broken.

Then I'm thankful that I got to be a year older exactly 2 weeks ago today. I didn't have any plans for it, but the wonderful man you gave me made sure it was a good day. You know Lord how I always love to wear new things on my birthdays, well he made sure I had two even. And for that new laptop that I needed so badly...
Lord thank you for my birthday...and for the wonderful man...the hubby.

I'm grateful Lord because even in my darkest hours and when I have disappointments, you are always there. When I decide I don't want to talk to you, you stay with me, you keep nudging me till I surrender. I'm grateful that you never leave me alone. Because without you, I would be a wreck, I would be shattered. In you I find my completeness.

I'm thankful Lord for the resilient spirit you have given me. When others would have given up and thrown in the towel, most times, I'm able to stand and persevere. It's not easy Lord but I'm able to do it and I'm thankful for that inner strength you have given me. I don't crumble easily and it's by you.

It's amazing how you can make me laugh in the midst of the storm. You constantly give me a reason to smile, and even when it's not a full laughter Lord, when I think I am unhappy, you show me a reason to smile and gradually, it turns into a laugh. You always show me a silver lining...I'm grateful Lord.

I have questioned you Lord of times Lord about why I need to go through some things, why life is easier for some people and I seem to have so many trials but you told me I need to go through the trials, I need to be refined because there is a greater purpose. I might not see it now but I trust You. And I remembere You even said there is something You see in me that makes me qualify for the trials. I will still question Lord because I'm human but I am thankful that You count me worthy for your greater calling and purpose.

Thank you Lord for my friends,they are wonderful people. They are not many but you chose them for me Lord and they are just beautiful people with great hearts. I know I can count on them. And for my neighbour who is a friend, I'm grateful.

My heart is full Lord, there's so much I want to say to you. You are my rock, my friend, my all in all and without you I know I would crumble like a cookie and fall like a house without a foundation.

For everything dear Lord, this daughter of yours is grateful and stands to say if not for you on her side, she would be nowhere. I will be back Lord....I just wanted to register my thanksgiving.

Oh and God I can't sign my letter today because I lost my signatre with the old laptop...will have to get a new signature soon again. And thank you Lord for the person reading this, help them see reasons to be thankful.

Your daghter...