THE THING CALLED FEAR

Happy 2nd half of 2017! (I know that’s not a thing but just felt appropriate lol). Somewhere last week on my way to work, I was reading a novel, Half of the Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie. (If you get your hands on it, please read because it’s amazing). I was sitting in a troski (commercial bus) by this elderly man. He looks at me whilst I’m reading and goes like “You know it’s not advisable to read in a commercial car, right?”

I ask him why and this is his answer. “When someone sees you reading in the open like that, they can easily put witchcraft to the book which transfers to you. So it will be better if you read in your private car”. Internally, this is my reaction,

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But I’m not in the mood to continue with the conversation, so I tell him “Thanks but Psalm 91” and bury my head back in my book. (Coincidentally, that was my quiet time scripture that morning). I honestly didn’t care if he understood my answer or not. I couldn’t even concentrate on my book anymore because I was legit in shock and surprise. Now these are the issues I will like to address concerning his comment.

A lot of us are living in fear especially Christians ironically, without even realizing. So I started wondering, according to his assertion, a witch will rather attack a person reading than someone staring into space in the commercial bus? Really? We tend to tie ourselves to certain beliefs out of fear. The Bible tells us He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4) but we just recite that without even believing it. We’ll rather coil in fear so we are not noticed to be attacked. But think about it, is that the life we are called to live?

It also brought my mind to why some of us are not progressing in life (sorry to be harsh). You see someone doing something different from the status quo and we don’t get it. If I was listening to music sitting by him, he definitely would not have commented. But the fact that I was reading a book which is not really a common occurrence in the bus he just had to comment. It made me realize that we keep on limiting ourselves for fear of what people will say. We have not been called to follow the crowd. Psalm 8:5 says he has made us a little lower than the angels, so I believe we are made to soar higher than we are made to believe. Following the crowd makes you settle for what you think is normal, hence no growth in our lives.

Please let’s remember to do the best we can to eliminate fear from our lives. It’s not easy especially when it has become a habit but it is possible because we’re victors in Christ Jesus and we have the Holy Spirit to help us.

“The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.”  
― Albert Einstein

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I’ll like to render my apologies for my somewhat hibernation. I’m happy to be back now and I’ll try not to go away next time. I’m very grateful to God for my 24th birthday as well as the peaceful elections in my country, Ghana.

I was trying to find the perfect title for my post today but I ended up settling with Untitled because I was actually blank lol. So today I want to share something which I’ve had with me for over two weeks. It’s from 1 Samuel 16:14-21. I’m pretty sure most of us are familiar with this story so let me attempt a summary. The passage talks about when Saul needed someone to play the harp for him to rid him of the evil spirit tormenting him. One of his young men recommended David. Saul took a great liking to David and even made him his armour bearer.

Upon reading this for the umpteenth time in my life, something struck me and that’s what I want to share. First of all, let me give us all a quick tip: When reading the Bible, in order to get the whole picture, it is advisable to read the preceding verses and even sometimes the latter. Words like ‘therefore’, ‘so’, etc carry a lot of weight so the verses before help you to grasp the picture.

Okay so back to my topic: let’s look at v.13. Can you see the power of the Holy Spirit? I mean, it’s no coincidence the trajectory of David’s life after he was anointed with the Spirit. This takes my mind to Luke 1:35 and Acts 1:8 which also talk about the power of the Holy Spirit. He (please the Holy Spirit is not an’it’) comes into your life and you just cannot live an ordinary life. Think about this, a whole Jesus Christ living in you and you end up being just average?

Again, take a look at the v.18. King Saul just asks for someone who can play the harp well. The person can be tall, dark, short, blind or whatever, all he needs is a pro in harpology ( I invented the word myself lol). But just see the attributes that were added to David. This totally brings my mind to my favourite Bible verse 2 Cor. 9:8 ( I’ve talked about it in an earlier post). Reiterating my point, how can you be in Christ and be average, when He’s able to make all grace come to you in abundance? Let me blow your mind even more with v 21. David was promoted from a harp player to an armour bearer! This is where I drop my mic and exit. Goodness!

This is the power of Christ in us! You and I cannot be average. In these recent times where everyone wants to bring others down, you just cannot be ordinary. Status, age, educational background, body type and all the others cannot tie you down. Realize that you are a masterpiece because the power of the Holy Spirit is in you. Let me end this with one of my favourite lyrics from Beckah Shae in her song Supernova.

Outshining galaxies like a supernova!

 

 

 

#troski lessons

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I think one of the  places I have quite funny and interesting experiences is when I’m in a troski and I’m very sure there a lot of other people who do too. So this morning, as the bus was loading, something interesting yet thought-provoking for me occurred. There was this lady who had to put her extra luggage at the back of the car. So, the driver put the stuff there and she sat comfortably in the bus.

Some minutes later, the driver tells the lady he’ll charge five Ghana cedis for the items. She pleads with him to reduce it to three Ghana cedis because that’s all she has. You know most of these troski drivers too, no patience whatsoever. The option was: Five cedis or get down from the bus.

Some two passengers quickly jump to her aid by pleading with the driver. The driver doesn’t even flinch and sticks to his word that he won’t take less than five cedis. He leaves for a moment whilst the two passengers sympathize with her and assure her they’ll talk to the driver. They do try to plead on her behalf but this time, he just tells the lady that she should get down cos he won’t take three cedis.

I was actually expecting that one of these two passengers will offer to top up so she can stay in the bus but that didn’t happen. The lady got down and life continued as though nothing had happened. Probably, genuinely these two passengers didn’t have two cedis to top up with. I wouldn’t know because I don’t live in their pockets. But this event got me thinking, that man is limited in himself. We can help to an extent but we can’t go all the way. We’ll do what we can and leave the rest for you to figure it out yourself. So putting your trust in man would not be a wise decision.

God however, will not leave you stranded on the way. He’ll never leave you or forsake you. So the best decision will be for us to put our trust in God.

Where are you sowing your seed?

I’ll like to share briefly something I learnt from church yesterday. I always love it when I get a whole different meaning to something in the Bible which I’m so used to. So today’s example, is the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13; 1-23.

I’ve always understood this parable in relation to the Word of God. In conclusion, some receive the word of God and let it bear fruit whilst others don’t at all or make the pleasures and pressures of life sway them from the Word. So yesterday, my pastor presented it in a different perspective and I’ll like to share it here.

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In the parable, the farmer scattered his seed, Some fell along the path and birds ate them, some fell at rocky places and withered, some fell among thorns which were choked by the thorns and some fell on good soil which produced 100,60 and 30 fold. As we’re living this life on earth, what we are actually doing is scattering our seed on the ground to be able to reap from them either in the short or long run. Even going to school and getting your degree is you sowing a seed. So that after school, you can reap by getting a job etc. Everyday, we have to improve ourselves in all aspects (spiritually, physically, emotionally etc) to maintain a healthy balance. At the end of each day, can we boldly say we’ve learnt or gotten something new to help us live life better?

I’ll like to make this personal so I ask myself where am I sowing the seeds in my life? Is it all in movies, following the latest fashion trends, useless social media rants, gossip, baseless talk, chasing money? I’ll admit that I find myself sort of interested in the things mentioned above but really in the end, what exact return on investment will I get from them? Are they worth it? That’s a question I have to answer for myself. It’s easier said than done so I pray for strength to be able to set my priorities right to please my Father. I’ll end it here with a question for us to ponder on.

At the end of it all, when I’m to calculate my life’s ‘return on investment’ will it be 100%, 60% , 0.005% or nil?

Ephesians 3:20 in a different light

So let’s call this my little testimony. Here it goes…

Yesterday I had to meet someone somewhere for work purposes. I initially thought it was a walking distance but upon further thought, I realized it wasn’t going to be a short walk. But at the same time I wasn’t ready to pick a cab there so here I was, spending about ten minutes thinking about how long the walk will be.

I left the house to go meet the person who was almost at the location. Some few metres away from my house, I remembered that I had left a particular book so i had to return home. Trust me, I was quite mad with myself then cos I already had a long journey to take. I got home, took the book and set off for the second time. When I got to the junction, a car stopped and the driver tells me to get in. I looked at him and saw he was familiar and just got into the car. (I hardly ever take lifts and won’t encourage anyone reading to but I was already running late, the guy looked familiar and I felt it was a right decision I was making. The guy was even surprised I didn’t resist but I couldn’t help it lool).

He alighted me some few metres away from the location. As I was walking down the road, I just remembered Ephesians 3:20 especially the part which says, “more than we can ask or think”. I was thinking about how I’ll have to walk that long distance only for God to do more than I thought by providing someone to shorten the journey for me.

I’m not encouraging anyone to take lifts from people who look familiar. Far from that! My message from this little testimony is that God hears our silent thoughts and does things His own way and at his own time to meet our need. Leaving the book at home, which made me mad with myself, was His way of making things work His own way to meet my ‘walking’ need.

Ephsians 3: 20 has found a deeper meaning in my life now. Thank you Jesus!

Which Plant are You?

One of my morning chores is to water the plants in our compound. I actually enjoy it a lot because we have a lot of flower pots with varying plants. For some plants, I give more water than the rest. Some I hardly even water because they don’t need it. I pay extra attention to the hibiscuses and a few others whose names I don’t know, unfortunately. There’s this particular plant which my mother always tells me not to waste water on, but I still do. She says that because it refuses to grow anymore and the soil seems to be either so clayey or filled with roots that, most of the water I end up pouring on it just trickles down the crack of the pot. I keep on watering it anyway. One day, I realized another plant growing in the middle of it which did surprise me and make me happy at the same time. I was excited because I had almost given up on it, only for me to see this fresh little sprout.

Okay, so what is my point?

I believe God speaks in some unconventional ways and He did so during one of my watering days. We are like the plants with God being the gardener or in my case, the one who waters the plants. He waters us according to our ability as in the case of the Parable of the Talents. Some He waters more than others because He knows exactly what He’s doing. Other people may give up on us because we may not be performing as we’re supposed to for reasons unknown to them. In other words, people may consider us to be useless but the Creator of the Universe still waters us knowing that in due time we will produce that little fresh plant within us. Let us not pay heed to what the world says of us, though it may hurt. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our lives.