Saturday, 28 September 2013

Better Living

Let the wise listen and add to their learning…’

Proverbs 1:5

When it comes to growth, Christ is our example. The Bible says that He ‘…grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men’ (Luke 2:52 NIV). To enjoy favour with God and others you must keep growing spiritually, mentally and emotionally. That requires you to do two things: 1) Never stop learning. Every experience in life, including the ones you don’t enjoy, yields knowledge that can make your future better than your present. But you have to look for it. The downside to the Internet and Smartphones is that you get endless ‘hits’ of information you don’t process or glean anything from. Instead of letting life just ‘happen’ to you, you need to stop and ask yourself, ‘What’s really happening here? I’m hearing it, but what does it mean?’ You are body, soul, and spirit, so you need to ask, ‘Am I healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?’ No one can answer that question but you. 2) Never stop developing your talents. When asked as an old man why he still practiced six to eight hours every day, one of the world’s best violinists replied, ‘Because I think I’m getting better.’ What a great attitude! It’s not enough just to live longer; you’re supposed to get better! Paul told Timothy, ‘…Stir up the gift…which is within you…’ (2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV). Wesley Tracy said, ‘Some people have the notion that following your spiritual gift is spending the days and years of your life doing only those things which come naturally, easily, with no effort, discipline or practice. No, your gift can either be mediocre or excellent; it’s up to you.’

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bitter Vs Better

We all go through situations in life, that keep us on our feet, regardless of the faith we profess or the personalities we have tried to build over the years. Some people have the misconception that if you are a christian, you shouldnt be shaken by situations, but be mindful because that is actually most times in our head and not in reality. At some point, when the disciples heard all that Jesus had to say, they where really overwhelmed and all they could utter was "Lord increase our faith". They said this because at that point, the Lords approach to lifes issues seemed so surreal. During the agonising times before the death of Jesus, He prayed that if it was possible the cup, should pass Him by, but the final clause that showed brokenness was when He added "Not my will, but thine be done". Now that is the language of true christianity.

We view bitter experiences as the forces of hell, set loose against us. But in reality,our greatest learning most times is when we are stretched. That difficult experience should make us better and not bitter. It takes quite some work however to achieve this most of the time. This same time last year, I went through a very difficult time in my life, we all go through those times when all the wrong things seem to be happening at the same time. From relationships, to finances, to career, relocation needs, you name it. Its just one challenge after another. But at this point, the word I held unto was Lord increase my faith and give me the grace not to make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation. And to that prayer He answered.

Few weeks ago, I met a lady through some other friend of mine at a party and in my regular chatty self I got talking with this lady, and thereafter there were a couple meetings. One of the days however, she had lunch at mine and we spent the day as she told me a lot about herself and her present situation. She didnt need my help actually, she just needed a listening ear. But as she left my place, I wasnt at peace within myself. I said a prayer for her but that wasnt enough. Yea sometimes prayer alone is not enough as we need to stretch out our hands in compassion. I picked up my phone a few days after and invited her over. I told her " I was in exactly the same mess last year and even worse, but God sent people I never knew to help, and today God has sent me to help you too. When I told her all I was going to do for her, she was in awe and could only cry.

I strongly believe God allows us go through certain situations, so that we can encourage others when they go through the same pain. The pain should make us better and not bitter.Only then can we influence lives as we speak and encourage with passion.

Going through a difficult time? Be encouraged, it will pass. Ps84;11 says He cant withold anything good from those who love Him. Isa26: 3 also says He will keep us in perfect peace, that is the peace that surpasses all understanding. Remember too, that when you have gone through successfully, hold the door open for others to go through and do not shut the doors of your heart/hands in a cold manner to their faces.

True greatness is found in humility, but pride is the malignant cancer destroying men. True fulfillment comes from fulfilling others.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Todays Tots

We love, not because the people we love are unable to cause us pain, but because when we remember the pain caused and potential hurt that could be caused, there is just something inexplicable in our hearts that causes us to keep loving, to keep believing in that one person. And really I concur with the saying that when someone truly loves you, even if there are a 100 reasons to make them leave you, there is still that one thing that makes them stay and want to have you forever. Such is the love of our Father..... Our sins, the cross, the shame, our rejection, our pride, strong self will, insolence.... But He just keeps loving, and loving, and loving. Thank you Lord.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Language Of Praise

This week has really been a beautiful one, but the icing on the cake for me, was when I walk through the office, after a few days of being away and everyone to my amazement is genuinely excited to have me back, even the one fella, I have had several fights with, comes by me and he goes "Elly do you mind me standing beside you as you do your photocoping"? And my answer to that was "sure I mind" lol! Yea!one of my weaknesses is that I cant pretend. The response I get however is, "Elly you may not believe it but I really missed you as he looked me in the face, this time however, I managed a very wry smile. And deep in my heart, I remind myself, to make excuses for people, and give people not just a second chance, but a third, fourth xxxx chances because, trust me, we all need it at some point. I realised that truly, "PEOPLE MAY FORGET WHAT YOU SAID, OR WHAT YOU DID, BUT THEY WILL NEVER FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL" However as I seat at my desk, a different colleague, takes a seat opposite me and goes "Elly thanks so much for all your prayers, God has started answering them and he goes along to share all the testimonies and at the end he says elly I need you to get me the devotional you usually give me, cos I misplaced them, I also want you to pray for my girlfriend too and you wont believe it but the list went on and on. As I sat back, I realised, I have been preaching to this young man from the beginning of the year, and all the time, he always made a joke of it but you know what I persisted and today, hes coming under the grasp of our father. God is not looking for perfect people, He is looking for willing individuals. Let God use you today, to affect a life, they will never forget you, and your peace and fulfillment, will be limitless.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Controversial Word-Feminist!!

Its quite amazing how the word FEMINIST sparks so much debate and negativity. However I believe its largely based on peoples perception, In one word I say stereotype. Feminism however is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women. I can remember having a conversation with a group of people, and as I expressed my opinion, one of the men present told me I was feminist. I looked at him like Are you for real?? "I responded by saying,can you actually listen to yourself? If you want to shut me up, say something else but dont just throw words for the sake of it" For me though, be you feminist or a male chauvinist, I dont really care. What matters to me though, is that everyone we come across deserves to be respected regardless of their gender. Also for anyone who works hard, they deserve to be rewarded also regardless of their gender. I am doing a work and researching on the glass ceiling I have discovered widening pay gaps between male and female doing exactly same job which dosent seem right to me. Definitely God created male and female differently for specific reasons, but society has defined masculinity and feminity in ways that are not really holistic. It is seen in the ways in which we are raised, which breed the wrong preconception right from the word go especially in the African culture. For instance why should nourishing ones health be left to the mercy of some other, when girls are trained to cook for men. Ironically though we observe that the best chefs in the world end up being men. However I listened to the smart lady Chimamanda speak, and the reality of her words really kept me thinking and I just had to share. hope you enjoy it. Have any contrary views?? Feel free to share

Sunday, 15 September 2013


‘You must build…according to the pattern I will show you.’

Exodus 25:9

Go to God for the plan. God told Moses: ‘You must build this tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.’ God knows what you will need in the future, you don’t. He prepared Noah a hundred years in advance of the flood. He prepared Joseph to feed Egypt seven years in advance of the famine. Without God’s guidance the best you’ll ever have are estimates, educated guesswork and projections. ‘To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights’ (Exodus 24:17-18 NLT). 

Moses spent over a month waiting in God’s presence for direction. Why? Because what he was building had to meet the needs of God’s people for generations. So go to the place of prayer. Tell those around you, ‘I’m not coming back until I hear from God and get His plan!’ When God orders it, He pays for it. But when He doesn’t give the order, and you decide to do it anyway, you’re on your own! Why? Because you won’t have confidence to go to Him in your time of need. Unless you start right, you won’t finish right. You say, ‘But I’m nobody special. Why would God speak to someone like me?’ If God has called you, and He has, then you’re special. His promise is, ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God…and it will be given to him’ (James 1:5 NIV)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Move on! Move up!

Now I am working on this project and trying to put all my findings together. All seems to be going well and then a call comes in. I am definitely multitasking at this time, but after a while I don't know what button I click but everything seems to be all over the place. I am not an IT geek, if you know me, you will know I tend to shy away from very advanced technology most times lol! So getting this back to the layout I want it, seems to be taking for ever. Its about an hour and a half gone by and I have not still made any headway. At this point, there is a mixture of frustration, anger, and fatigue welling up on the inside of me. Something however tells me to just leave this for now and go to bed as it is passed 1:30am, but determination makes me carry on.

However after a while, its 2 hours gone now, on same spot, with no progress whatsoever and I have reached my threshold. I cant take it anymore. I close my laptop sulking and get to sleep. As I awake hours later, I go back to the same page and realise that everything has fixed itself and I am beaming with smiles. In my moment of excitement however, I hear a still voice say, "You see what you worry about, will definitely sort itself out"

I felt stupid however for all the time I spent on that one spot, rather than ignore it, and do something else.

Lesson Learnt;
Most times what we spend time worrying about, is not worth the time at all. Things will always sort themselves out, like the problems/challenges before the present one sorted themselves out.
Worrying only does a good job of bringing us to a halt, while we run around same circle brooding over the situation at hand rather than thinking of a likely solution.

Don't cheat yourself with worries of this life, move up and move on and if you believe in Gods power and sufficiency, you will realise that He cares for us more than we know or can imagine. Mathew 6;25-27

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Price Of Determination

9/11 will be an unforgettable date not only in the lives of Americans, or the lives of all who were involved, but in all our lives. When we all watched people, houses, businesses and lives suddenly come to a halt as a result of men who had varying opinions. Twelve years down the line though, our lives have moved on but the scars will continually remain in the lives of those directly affected, especially by the loss of loved ones. And today I pray God continues to console the hurting.

However looking at how well America has evolved from the disaster, I am really inspired by some of Americas women especially Condolezza Rice and Hilary Clinton amongst many others.

 File:Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg

In most countries where the office of first lady is occupied by women with very fragile egos, who constantly demand the attention of ignorant subordinates and see the office as pageantry to showcase the latest trends in fashion and attending several luncheons and dinners with barely any economical or developmental impacts on the nation,Hilary Clinton however has risen above the shadows of her husband, to prove to every one that she indeed has steel in her spine.

She was the first female partner at Rose Law Firm, twice listed as one of the most influential lawyers in America. A fighter whose daunting personality is really admirable.
I clearly remember the presidential debate between her and Obama like yesterday and how in humility she congratulated and supported him through to victory. I am really inspired by this woman, and many others out there who portray the true image of womanhood.

I have learnt that, to the one who is determined and wont budge at the face of opposition, all things are really possible. The killer however is trying to follow tradition most times and fit into stereotypes of mediocre thinkers.

And this quote from Calvin Coolidge says it all "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Monday, 9 September 2013

Stillness In The Storm!

I love the quote that says,"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain". I am sorry to say but a lot of people have a very distorted view of God and His works and it is very evident when I hear the questions people ask, like "If there is really God, why do bad things like earthquakes and all the disasters happen"? I work in the financial sector and its no suprise when we refer to natural disasters as act of God. And I ponder in me the way we humans treat God, our life, people and the entire environment with this laissez-faire attitude, and yet feel we have the right to question God? I was speaking to a group of people yesterday and I clearly stated that spiritual maturity comes when we have a really intimate relationship with God, that we begin to seek His heart and not only his hands. Its evident even in the relationships we have with each other. We begin to grow deeper in love when we begin to seek the joy, peace, and fulfillment of the person we are in a relationship with, and not just what the person has to give us. If you are in a relationship, and all you do is withdraw, and withdraw and withdraw and never depositing into that relationship/life, one day the account is going to be in red, and that relationship is gonna come crashing with a big bang. Unfortunately that is the attitude of most of us towards God. We feel His job is to make things right and do as we please while we leave our lives as we wish. Unfortunately in Chemistry, we learn that for every ACTION there is always a subsequent REACTION. And this implies also in the spiritual. In Ps 23:4 It says even though I walk through the valleys of shadow of death, I will fear no evil. That clearly tells us that there will be valleys to walk, but as we walk them, He is there to walk with us. Isa43:2 says when you pass through the waters, fires, storms, you will not be burned/drowned/overcome cos I will be with you. Going through a storm/storms? Remember there is nothing too hard, for God to do. Jer32:27. Like others too, it will be PASS! So be still and know that God is very Able to do all things.

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If I have not learnt a lot in life, I have learnt that every single thing as well as every single person in our lives, happens for a reason....