Month: July 2015

A BEAUTIFUL DAY

One morning after it had rained, I had It’s A Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace playing in the car as I drove on a muddy road. The dance steps in my feet found better expression on my hands with my head nodding in perfect agreement. I found it so easy to sing along, agreeing that indeed it was a beautiful day. The weather was cool, I was not driving in traffic, not hurrying anywhere, and there were no worries in my head at that moment…I was just coasting along on the road even though it was muddy. Then it occurred to me that I could pass someone walking along that same muddy road who would have heard my car sound system blaring and who would be wondering what was beautiful about the day. First, it was cold because of the rain, next the fellow would have to endure walking on the muddy road, getting his or her footwear and clothes really dirty and stained with mud. I realised then that it is pretty easy to be grateful in convenient moments!

Think about this: The one who has children could easily be grateful for a full quiver while the one waiting for the fulfilment of the promise would be thinking… There could be someone with two job offers and whose only problem is whether to take the one with an annual vacation but no 13th month salary or the one that has the reverse conditions. At the same moment, there could be someone who has sent 100 job applications over the last 12 months and has not received more than an email to acknowledge the applications. Someone could be feeling as fit as a fiddle while another just remembered the shot she has to live on for the rest of her life except God brings a miracle. A couple you know may be celebrating their 10th year wedding anniversary with everything around them shouting that they had enjoyed every bit of their lives together thus far. And you might have had 5 breakups in the last 6 years and still have questions about your current relationship. Your friend’s children may be excelling in school with a couple of them on scholarships while your child has struggled with his academics and spent a couple of days each term on the hospital bed. You are not alone on this. Jabez had his experience, Joseph had his own story, Job lived his too.

Your life might be a potpourri of the good, the bad and the ugly. You might be enjoying what some would term an unusual level of grace with no major challenges or incidents on your path. Or maybe the reverse is the case – your life story might indicate that you’ve never hit a purple patch all your life. But like Job said in Job 14:14 …all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. I also know that all things are working together for my good because I love God. Even if God keeps me this way, my report at the end of the day would not be different from those mentioned in the hall of faith – that they walked in faith and obtained a good report (Hebrews 11). God has the marking scheme and knows what He is looking out for – a man or woman whose heart is fully committed to Him.

But while I wait, I will stay focused on what He has said about me. The thoughts would come, the images would flash across my mind, those voices might interrupt my silent space but I would remain resolute in my focus on God’s word. I will keep His Word before me, in my heart. He says His thoughts for me are thoughts of peace and not of evil and He would give me the expected end. The words on my lips would always align with God’s thoughts towards me. My confessions would dovetail with my belief. This is the quorum needed for the manifestation of the promise in my life.

Yes, it’s a beautiful day. We would still sing our song.

Selah.

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THE SURVIVAL KIT BAG

In recent times, the media has been awash with stories, songs, movies and the like that present a twisted view of marriage. Same-sex marriage appears to be hottest topic trending on all media platforms. It’s no longer news that the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage across all American states. In other news, we hear that Germany’s National Ethics Council recently called for an end to the criminalisation of incest between siblings and that a Japanese court ruled that extramarital affairs are alright, so long as they’re done for business purposes.

Our culture is being re-defined. We are seeing a new normal around us adopted by celebrities and popular world figures and promoted by the media. I see that the world in which my children would grow up as teens and adults would be significantly different from the one I have spent some decades in.

I reckon that the journey ahead for the Christian who would want to keep being a Christian would be quite tough and trying. He or she would need to pack relevant items for survival as though he or she were going on an expedition for the first time. But every Christian who knows the Bible would know that the Saviour already told us what the outlook of the world would be like at the end of times. So there really is no need to press the panic button. What we would do is access our knowledge cache and fortify ourselves and the generations responsible to us to be able to handle the challenges around us.

We, particularly fathers, have the responsibility to make sure our children are grounded in the Word of God. The only way to identify counterfeit currency notes is to be very familiar with the original ones. The only way to detect a lie is to fully know the truth. The truth is found in God’s Word. We should read the Word of God and be able to give answers from the Bible to questions on contemporary issues. We also need to encourage our children to read the Word of God themselves. They should be encouraged to ask questions. Give them the right answers even if it means you have to do a little more research before answering them. This is better than leaving them to get answers from the wrong places.

I also recommend that we tap into valuable related resources around us for helpful stuff. You can find good ones online. I found some from Focus on the family which you can access here.

We should encourage our children to love other people and see them as God sees them – as His children. He hates the actions of those who go against His dictates but He still loves them anyway. Our children should be encouraged to do the same but to do so standing for the truth of God’s word.

We must protect the heart of marriage as we know it and the principles that define it. We must uphold the values of lifelong commitment, selfless love and mutual deference under God’s instituted authority. We cannot speak against gay marriage while our marriages lie on the edge of divorce or are ravaged by the evil fires of adultery and pornography. When this is the case, we become hypocrites and lose our credence and honour to defend the truth and speak against gay marriage or other perverted forms of relationship.

Surround yourself and family with the right company. Walk with families that share the same beliefs and faith with you. Always return to your company for encouragement and support. This is what the disciples did to weather the persecution storms they faced. Acts 4:23-33

One of the greatest pieces of heritage we can pass on to the next generation is a faith that is unadulterated and that is not defined by the spirit of the age. This is our responsibility deserving of a good report and a ‘well done, thou faithful servant’.

The One who has seen the end knows we can make it successfully to the end.

Selah.