All posts by Queeneth Gain

Serious Jesus wannabe.Married with three great boys. Singer, love writing and will hopefully keep you engaged and informed.

The “If You are” syndrome

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Our lives as individuals can be so plagued by different types of issues; the need to become, the need to acquire, the need to achieve, the need to do, the need to sustain etc. This happens so often that if and when we are not careful, such needs and how we go about fulfilling them can become devastating to our existence as human beings. We always have the urge to satisfy one thing from/or with another and should be careful in the choices we make in the process. 

Jesus at the start of His ministry was, like everyone else, faced with a challenge. He was tempted of the devil. The the Holy Spirit wasted no time in leading Him to the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The idea that the Holy Spirit led Him to the wilderness be tempted by the devil just as the popular Psalmist prayer “He leads me in the paths of righteousness”, is something worth pausing to examine.

There are certain trials and temptations that whether we like it or not, we just have to face in our paths of righteousness for us to be adequately prepared for the work that God Almighty has ordained before hand that we should do. There has to be prunnings, cuttings etc, that has to happen and continues to happen, if we are to successfully please our Master. The likeness of these temptations faced by Jesus, are everyday dealings that we as humans are faced with and will continue to be faced with and must overcome! Jesus has become our example! We can overcome and are more than conquerors if we believe.

The “if you are” syndrome as I would like to call it, in Jesus’ case started in the first temptation, with the enemy challenging him in subtle terms concerning what he believes and stands for. Not just that alone, trying to make Him sabotage His person, to do deeds that would offend God and misrepresent situations!

How many times as children of God have we met situations that subtly required us to compromise? Quietly deny who we are? Or walk/work between the grey areas, just because we are after what to eat, drink and wear?

Even if you are a child of God, would it really stop you from doing so and so to feed yourself and your family? To the ordinary onlooker, what is truly wrong with turning stone to bread after forty days of fasting? Especially since there was no fast food delivery service to turn to at the moment or a “mama put” joint to quickly access and satisfy the hunger pangs.

But you see, the technicalities of what the devil was asking Jesus to do was wrong and incriminating, and the hunger-blind Christian may not perceive the subtleties of the situation until he delves in and is entrapped! Others may not get to see the bad at all even if someone comes along to point it out. They would just chunk it aside as jealousy or the like and move on with their lives.

The second thing we should point out in this very temptation of Jesus by the devil, is that our desire to “prove” ourselves to others is constantly being tried. It tries our silent need to be validated.

The devil knows that Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus was not in conflict with who He is, so why the “if you are” phrasing? Show your strength, ability, etc. There was even “no one” per se in attendance. But the devil would know and most importantly God would know when we decide to do something with the intent to show or prove ourselves. So whether others can read our thoughts or not, God can! We should be wary of falling into the temptation to massage our ego in the name of doing “the necessary” to achieve. Once it has to feed our ego/pride, we are in the wrong lane and would have ourselves to blame if we fail.

I still want to dwell on the point that we shapen ourselves or who we are more often than not with the decisions we make when none else is in attendance. Our thoughts, are inner decisions, what we consistently choose to do and say when we think we have no audience or the audience is of no immediate or substantial consequence, has defining, longer lasting qualifications on who we become.

So while your brother or sister may not be there to take note of your current happenings and access your heart’s intent, God can and the host of heaven bear record while the enemy is present to use it as foothold or evidence against you when the time is required.
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As the year unfolds, let’s see to it that our lives are not hijacked by the enemy and we do not succumb to the desire to meet the three fold ministry of the flesh. When we are controlled by our flesh, we stifle the sensitivity of our spirit to the things of God and to God Himself.

This is a New year, let’s begin well. For some, let’s continue well and if nothing, let’s not sabotage the ministry of Angels by the wrong choices that we make. This among other things, is what we stand to loose when the choice is “if you are” pleasing.

Happy New year!
🙂 😉 🙂

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

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Battle For the Mind

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The book of 2 Chronicles chapter 32 is a passage of Scripture I have come to love. Each time I get to read it, I always find lessons to take home. Not just because it tells of how not to rest on your oars when we have accomplished something spectacular, but it also exposes the enemy and some of the strategies he is willing to employ just to ensure he does not loose any battle for our soul.

Here we see Hezekiah, the then king of Israel who had just successfully carried out a religious reform including a centralized celebration of the Passover of the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem amongst other things.

He had so succeeded where his father Ahaz had failed that the final verse of chapter 31 closed with these words:

In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s law and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful-NLT.

Then begins chapter 32.

“After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out his work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah”.

The devil’s first strategy against Hezekiah and the israelites:

1. THE TRIAL THAT COMES WITH-“AFTER HEZEKIAH HAD FAITHFULLY CARRIED. OUT HIS WORK”:
This is where we get really comfortable with ourselves and the environment. We somehow remain in the euphoria of the victory we have just won that the tendency to let down our guards and thereby fall prey to the enemy of our souls is peak.

We have faithfully carried out the work and this should qualify us for a “timeout” from trials. Well; ask Hezekiah, he experienced differently. First thing the devil employed to destabilize the children of Israel was to attack them physically after they had successfully returned to general assembly of praise and worship of God and the destruction of idolatry, purifying themselves before God.

After they had fully carried out the work probably needing rest and doing more of reflection than projection, all of which are okay in its self, the enemy pounced.

This goes to say that we should not allow ourselves be detracted at any time. The business of watching and praying is an all-time event not to be trifled with in the least. May the glory of our latter be more than the former always.

Hezekiah’s response: Hezekiah cut off water supply that could have served the enemy even if it was going to affect them as well. But not before STRENGTHENING HIMSELF-KJV. This for me is very key given the obvious-“how do you fight a battle you have not prepared for?” How do you play lead role, when the script is foreign to you? You clearly can not give what you don’t have, so leaders, we should make out time to “strengthen ourselves” adequately in the Word and knowledge of God so as not to appear before the enemy clueless and tactless regarding the situation were in. It is then we can draw from the storehouse we have built inside and can be instant to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

This must have resulted in the comfortable way in which he delivered the encouragement speech he gave to the people.

They were clearly determination to do away with whatever physical things that would enable the enemy in its fight against them, they were prepared to make that sacrifice. They went ahead to carry out massive repairs of broken walls, erecting towers, even constructing a second wall around the already existing wall.

From all indication, Hezekia did not go to bed just because he had concluded a successful religious reform. He had a “watch and pray” mentality. This is the kind of attitude we all should have, not withstanding a current victory or otherwise.

Something that is also worthy of point-out is that Hezekiah took counsel with his Princes and mighty men. Some of us in leadership at times find it as time-wasting and maybe beneath us and probably a sign of weakness to take counsel with the immediate surround of leadership, or even father down the line,  preferring rather to display our wisdom and abilities to the people and further cement the superiority we think we possess in handling issues. Imagine the wisdom of waking up to a shutdown existing waterways and the reaction this would present in a time as critical as the one the children of Israel were in. I get that there are times when you have to step up as the leader, but how the children of Israel could have responded to the rude shock of having something as vital as water taken so abruptly from them without the prior knowledge of their immediate leaders is better left to the imagination. So Let’s learn to “step up” as the Spirit directs us and not as our canal selves dictates.

2. EVIL REPORT:
We all know that the devil will always twist what God says with the intent to deceive and derail us from His original desire and destination for us. Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden is a case in point. Yet, we run helter-skelter when the devil approaches with his lies.

We need to be thoroughly grounded in God’s Word so as not to be so deceived but be apt to recognise the devil when he surges and deal with the situation promptly without relent or fear.

3. COMMON GROUND:
Once we allow the enemy a foothold, he tries to capture the entire arena. The devil can only have access in our lives and situation to the extent to which we invite him. Let us all be vigilant and wise. Is there a broken hedge in our lives that the enemy uses to find his way into our business? A weakness? A habit, say of “prayerlessness”? As we turn to the Holy Spirit, we will be empowered by His Spirit in our inner man and be quickened to perform as children of the Most High.

4. MISPLACED PRIORITY: Maybe it’s just me, but I could not keep from wandering what these “people” where doing at the place and time on the top of the city wall, to now become available to the spectacle the enemy was putting up! They couldn’t have been sentry or lookout, for how many “people” do you need per time, per area, to do the subtle work of a lookout?

The enemy so made it worth their while that they spoke to God’s people in their own language. The enemy of God’s children could speak “christianese” and this quickly led to despair and tears all around the camp.

What familiar place, issue, possession etc, is the enemy using to gain access to our peace of mind? Cut lose now and regain your sanity. Step up and say no to his tricks, regain your freedom today!

The KJV version in verse 18 of the chapter says that the reason the enemy spoke to those on the wall in the Jews speech was “to affright them, and to trouble them, that they might take the city”

Is there fear and trouble involved? The enemy is probably speaking a familiar language to distract, distraught, and disarm you with the intent to take the city. We must not allow him!

The enemy will use everything in his arsenal, including past achievement or the lack of it, twist it and make you look bad and feel guilty. But if you will cry out to God like Hezekiah did, He will do what only He can.

God sent an angel. Just one and that was it!

God knows how to take care of His own, He knows how to magnify His own like He did for Hezekiah. We just have to look to Him and wait patiently for Him.

Let’s not allow the devil toy with our minds and displace us from what and where God is taking us to.

Let us consciously and continously cast down every high think that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ!

The battle is already won!

Hallelujah!!!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

UNAFFECTED BY SABBATH

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I had an interesting time one morning as my dearest shared with me some things that the Holy Spirit laid in his heart. I would love to share some of these things from the Scripture bellow:

John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
5:8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
5:9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
5:10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
5:11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 5:12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
5:13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

This Scripture is so loaded with awesomeness from the Father that it’s amazing how much of God’s WORD, if we can get it into us will deliver what we need and subsequently set us free to go and become even as we perform for God.

Some of the first things that one will notice as you read this passage are:
1. That Jesus probably went to Jerusalem for something else-the feast of the Jews.
2. There were a lot of other folks there having one issue or another, the Bible referred to them as multitude.
3. They were all waiting for the same thing-the moving of the water.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus was the One that saw the man, and knew without receiving any update from the impotent man or others around, that the situation has been for a long time. The man didn’t even see Jesus first.  Jesus then asked him a question: “wilt thou be made whole?”

Simple question right? But what was the man’s reply? To think that he spoke of something else other than the answer to the question that he was asked, is somehow bewildering.

I don’t know if the man did not understand the question or if he wasn’t interested in what or who Jesus is and what Jesus was saying to him, maybe that was even a ready made answer he gave to every and any person that came by to speak to him.

I would like to believe that this man was used to people asking him these kind of questions that he now had a preset answer waiting and ready to deliver so much so that when he was asked a different kind of question, he automatically gave an answer like he always did oblivious to how inaccurate his answer was and that he was being asked a different thing.

The question he was probably expecting, that had most likely been asked him so many times that he had could have lost count, I assume was something along these lines; why have not received your healing? Are you still impotent? What are you still doing here? These are some of the questions this man had come to be asked that he eventually had his ready made answer for every occasion and caller.

This only goes to point out that he definitely didn’t know who Jesus is nor had he heard about him! One would think that his situation would keep him abreast with anything and anyone that could in any way be of help one way or another to him and his situation, but no, he didn’t know about the very person who would deliver him of and from his situation.

Was it that news about Jesus never filtered to him? Probably he was already tuned out to his surrounding and all he could see, hear and thinks about was his problem and how there was no one ready to assist him. He was in a hopeless situation!

As much as the man was looking to man for help, he was also being discouraged by many a man that were getting into the pool before him and he whined about it; “but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me”.

Before I even try to get into the pool, all those who are faster than me, smarter than me, stronger than me, everything else than me get into the pool first and they get healed! Get their miracle. Oh how doomed my situation, what will become of me!

This man indeed saw his position as very hopeless and none willing to help him when he desperately needed help.

This man was bedridden as evidenced in verse six, this then means that someone or some persons would have brought him there, so why didn’t they just hang around for a bit even if it meant taking turns at his side so they could push him into the pool once the stirring began? At least the man’s answer suggested that this would in no way nullify or disqualify him from receiving his healing assuming they chose to do so.

The helplessness of his situation was such that even friends and relatives had grown tired of his situation and were not willing to pitch in the final efforts to ensure his healing. They probably just brought him there to be rid of him.

A very hopeless situation indeed.

But what is amazing is that Jesus wasn’t bothered that he didn’t recognise Him, nor was He bothered by his wrong answer to His question. He didn’t even point out how hopeless the man had become or the fact that he would be be breaking the Jewish code of conduct slash traditional. He went ahead and gave the man what he needed.

I mean, the guy had nothing going for him physically, mentally, socially etc but yet the LORD of all found him and against all odds healed him.

But that’s not all, this story doesn’t end here.

The preceeding verses up to verse thirteen only helps to clarify that the man really didn’t know Jesus! Like really! Even after he was healed!

How uninformed can a person get especially concerning the very person that could have and eventually went ahead to heal you. Your curiosity didn’t get the best of you and your nonchalance to get you asking questions about the person that just set you free!!!

But that’s not even where I’m headed. In the next verse Jesus does something so utterly wonderful!

5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Jesus findeth him. Jesus looked for him! The same man that knew nothing about Him, and as far as record shows wasn’t thankful for the healing he received. He didn’t even do a two step dance in rejoicing for what God had done for him. The guy just went on his merry way and Jesus still had to go “find” him….

He doesn’t even question his lacking attitude but goes ahead to completely rescue him from satan’s grip by making three statements. The three statements that loosed him and let him go completely.

These statements showed that the man was not made whole by just being healed. Secondly, the man was a sinner and his sins probably brought about his initial predicament, and thirdly, Jesus goes ahead to forewarn him to not go on sinning so that something worse doesn’t befall him!

How merciful our LORD is!

His mercy didn’t judge the man even though he deserved it. His mercy didn’t spite him. But most of all, His mercy doesn’t go on holidays!

This is so encouraging, so comforting and so loving!

I am personally grateful to God that His mercy speaks and continues to speak on my behalf.

Are you going through stuff right now and you feel family and friends have all rejected you are you feel like you have been left alone to die? That you are the least qualified or least deserving person in the world right now?

Does your situation seem hopeless and it has been around for so long it beginning to feel like part of you? A second skin?

What about that dream of yours that seems so overwhelming it scares you stiff and you don’t know who to turn to?

Why not cry out to God for mercy?

Maybe you are the one that needs to stop looking for the moving of the water and look to the God that stir the water!

He never fails! His mercy never takes a hike nor does it observe holidays.

Try Jesus today!

I testify with joy that I am a product of God’s mercy. Be encouraged, God.is. able!!!!!

🙂 😉 :0

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

As we rebuild the Temple

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The reading of Ezra chapter 4 vs 1(NLT) could leave one wandering why and how a set of persons who have been termed “enemies of Judah and Benjamin” could think, expect, to be allowed to partake in the building of the Temple of the Lord God of said opponents in Zerubbabel’s days. Until the next verse steps up and you begin to understand the platform on which such persons derived their confidence and the basis for which they put forward their suggestion.

Verse one states that the enemies of Judah and Benjamin “heard”. It is the information they received that prompted the line of action that they took. They heard that there was a building project going on and then took action.

The way we go about our daily lives sometimes without the awareness that there are things said and heard and that these things spoken have to be heard by at least those that have ears and are within earshot of us. But that most importantly, every hearing could or should result in a corresponding action or inaction that could have temporal and or eternal consequences on us.

What are we predominantly speaking of/about? Concerning ourselves, our families, spouses, children, work of our hands etc. The Bible states in Psalms 19 vs 2 that day unto day uttereth speech….
Also Proverbs chapter 6 vs 2 informs us that we are snared by the words of our mouth. This should encourage us to become conscious of what we say, how we say them and whom we say them to. Let’s ensure that we are giving out information that is proper as becometh children of God or at least the one we want to be out there.

Verse two states that they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said the following important statements:

1. Let us build with you.
2. For we worship your God just as you do.
3. We have sacrificed to Him ever since….

Statement one– let us build with you:
In the first chapter of the book of Ezra in the third verse we would read the words of King Cyrus whom the Lord had stirred his heart in fulfilment of the prophesy given through Jeremiah concerning this building project, and the category of people who were to be involved in the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem-
“Any of you who are His people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild the Temple of the Lord”

This proclamation was put in writing and sent through out the Kingdom of Persia. So apart from the Israelites, a lot of people would have heard of the proclamation from the King and those to whom it pertained. Yet these set of individuals still found it appropriate to offer assistance toward a project they should have had nothing to do with except maybe contribute towards the expenses incurred by the Jews during the project!

The Word of God spoken to us by His Spirit, or that which was made alive as we studied God’s Word, or the Word of God we have perhaps received from persons God placed in our lives as overseers, will always be questioned, challenged tried or distorted by the enemy.

We have too many instances in the Bible to serve as example. So it is not enough to receive a word from the Lord, it is important that we know it for ourselves completely and believe it thoroughly to enable us stand by it no matter what! As long as we have confirmation that this word is from God let’s go ahead and run with it. Unless like Eve, we end up being deceived by the very words that was supposed to rescue us in the first place.

Statement number two: for we worship your God just as you do…
If there ever was a statement that showed the detachment of the speaker from the activity or statement this is it. These people did not have a personal, experiential knowledge and relationship with the God of whom they speak of. We worship “your” God, as “you” do.

It will not be overstating it at this time If I say that we all need a continuous, growing relationship with God. One that causes us to bow in worship and adoration of the One we have come to know and love and not depend on the way “they” do what “they” do to “their” God!

We should not only depend on the referencing from others when it comes to the Worship of YHWH. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit should be our standpoint and foundation as we develop and grow in God. Whatever others say should be tested and checked out in the Word of God as the Bible promptly warns, test all spirits including ours!

Statement three: we have sacrificed to Him ever since…. This statement almost begins to sound like one of those “do you know how long I have been doing this work” kind of talk.

The rituals of doing the work of God can be both occupying and distracting. The fact that we are constantly engaged in the work of God does not mean we are pleasing God. Let’s not just be caught up with the rigors of external “worship” while our daily lives are far from what God expects from us.  God will not lower His standard because we were “busy” doing the work? Our lives have to be lively stones, ignited by His Spirit and meet for His use. So that at the end of the day we do not hear “depart from me”.

From Zerubbabel’s reply: “you may have no part in this work” one would come to the conclusion that he and the leaders with him had a proper knowledge of what God had said concerning the work they were carrying out and they went ahead to state the obvious how be it politely! He was able to spot the difference in these ones and wasted no time in dealing with the situation.  “You may not be a part of this work” period.

We should not be too quick and eager to accept every “help” that presents itself or comes our way, no matter how good and tempting it may seem. We should ask ourselves some very pertinent questions: is this of God,  does it conform to the word of God? I’m I going/supposed to be yoked together with these?  And the likes. I understand the need to want to do a two, three step in praise and worship due to the testimony time, blessing time, but it’s best to be safe than sorry. Just because it looks good does not necessarily mean it is good. Well, good according to whom???.

The immediate response to Zerubbabel’s refusal of their help only confirmed to the children of God that these ones were enemies indeed!  Because we refuse someone’s help, should they now make it their life’s ambition to frustrate the work you are involved in? The same work they were so eager to be a part of in the first place? This is very instructive! Imagine if they had accepted the said help, what would have become of the project?!!!

Let’s test every spirit before we entangle and entwine ourselves in relationships that would destroy us and ultimately derail us from Heaven.

Not all that glitter be of God!

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

Confessing our faults and keeping secrets

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“Please sis, don’t tell anyone oh!”

Anulika shouts at her older sister as they were parting ways and adds:

“I don’t want the publicity that would come with it”

Not wanting to leave it there,  she walks back to her and looks at her, eyes pleading.

“Especially your husband, I know you guys are pretty close. I just don’t want anyone else but you in this matter. Let’s just keep it this way”

Her older sister looks at her and replies.

“Kai, it’s a good thing you mentioned my husband, I would have gone straight to him to offload. But its okay, I can see that this is very dear to you”

She makes a show of zipping her lips and smiles.

“I won’t tell him and that means no one else gets to know. Besides, he’s the only one I would have told anyway”

She laughs, giving her sister a hug.

“Your little secret is safe with me”

But continues with a slight frown

“Even though I don’t see why you are so worked up about it”

And so it stays, their little secret.

James 5 vs 16: confess your faults one to another and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much-KJV.

It’s becoming very rare these days to find someone to confide in without mortgaging your peace of mind, joy or liberty in the process. The upbeat your heart sometimes experiences whenever you see the person in question, is a telltale sign that trust has probably decided to come in deferent work clothes or has completely hiked in the opposite direction.

Making it rather difficult to invest such a precious belief in people.

The resultant effect of someone actually breaking promise can be so devastating, that most would opt to take their secrets to the grave than share it and live the rest of their lives not knowing what next or remain kind of indebted to whomever it is they have confided in.

And who would blame them?

Apart from the constant worry that the one would stab you at the back, (especially for those who have scars in this area of sharing) and confide in their best friend who of course has his or her own “bestie” to confide in is that eventually, CNN finds it difficult to compete with the spread of the breaking news, isn’t this enough to make one want to zip up!

The best part of this whole “breaking news” issue is that there’s always a tendency of the story missing some or most of its parts, suffering partial or total mutilation, that by the time it comes around to your ears (and believe me it always manages to) you hardly recognise yourself in it or the various scenes that have been adopted to make the story more tell-able.

Lots of theories have been proposed and definitions put forth, with several appendices, all without your permission. Leaving you in disgust as to how the human mind can be so employed, when the individuals involved really decide to put their imagination to “good use”

Let’s not even venture into those that come to verify the truth or otherwise of the matter therein or those that believe they have a God given right to put together a pity-party on your behalf. Going ahead to do so without recourse as to how it helps the current situation or if you even desired one in the first place!

Then you have to deal with the “looks” you get to receive from those who:
( a ) are probably not bold enough to join the association of Pity-Partying-Persons or
( b) not interested in confirming the truth or otherwise of the matter
( c) are just waiting for an opportunity to look down or up at you
( d) just wanted to give you the “look” anyway

Now back to James 5:13, but this time NLT style :

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Hmmm, from fault to sin. I don’t even want to dabble into whether one is weightier than the other or not but in some quarters sin and fault certainly do not have the same disarming effect!

My concern is, if the Word of God expects us to be each other’s confidants, then that’s how it should be, shouldn’t it?

Secondly, is it just me or does no one else notice the “and” that conjoin the action of confession of faults to the action of praying for one another’s healing?

This begs the question. Is one of the reasons people are so fraught with deferring kinds of illness from no where in particular without warning not because of the dearth of those to confide in?

Isn’t this lack of confidants or the fear of betrayal from one the reason why most are plunging into depression and emotional turmoil?

For if I have and know someone I can confidently walk up to without fear or friction and offload, why for heavens sake would I allow myself to plunge into depression or be in combat with self-esteem?

Because like it or not, there comes a time when we would want someone to hold our hands and say it is well , the Word of God never fails, how can I help out?

I get it that we should not make a habit of “dumping” on others but there might just be this one time when we feel that the ears of another are so important and needed at that time and then you look around and bang! It hits you, you are completely on your own.

Loneliness starts gnawing at you, insecurity creeps in and before you know it, it’s goodbye peace and hello fear.

You are now carrying this burden, fault, sin all alone when you could have easily reached out to someone.

It’s not a pretty place to be.

This verse of Scripture not only entrusts us with the responsibility to hear ourselves out but also the duty of doing something that would yield corrective, positive results.

Let’s step up to this much needed responsibility and watch as the ripple effect drowns out the noise and nastiness of the times that we’re in as our prayer produces wonderful results!

I celebrate You, Spirit of the Most High God!

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

As you make your bed, so you lie

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Wishful thinking has been one of man’s major, ancient, enemies.

We want something, but are sometimes not willing to do what it takes to achieve or acquire it.

We want something, but most times wish it would just appear out of the blue without our having to lift a finger towards getting it.

This might not be the case for everyone of us, but it’s rather very easy to daydream about any and everything,  the flying car, the talking home and all sorts without lifting a finger. It’s just that, the price for laziness is quite steep. Quite steep indeed…

And when we don’t have what we want, we sulk, whine, whimper, complain. All but accept the part we played in our not receiving what we desire.Nothing!

We would rather blame someone else than our own selves for our lack of action and incompetence than go through the arduous task of doing the needful-as we say-to acquire the “wishful”

Why we choose to heap blame on others but ourselves for goals not achieved further points to detracting and derailing attitudes that we need to do away with or get out of our system. But do we? Nah! It’s much easier to pass bulk. That soothes us just fine.

Everyone else but you, easy bait.

Considering we even have all it takes to be and get what we want- the beds, the sheets and the pillows that goes with it, the complete set that some may lack-wouldn’t it just be nice to go the final lap and make the bed? And on time too?

There are differing levels of “the way we make our beds” and the circumstances surrounding it that if one really puts cap to head or head to cap, one would find varying degrees and hues to it that would in the end, require another round of head to cap or cap to head process, to enable one understand the gravity of the situation. 

Some situations involve people who have no beds at all. Some have beds with no sheets, while others are not in the league of pillow owners by any long stretch and some have all these things but yet don’t consider the rigors of making the bed a worth while venture.

I mean, come on, aren’t you and I the ones to profit from a neatly made bed after all? What else can beat a good night’s rest on fresh, clean, sheets!

Maybe we should keep viewing it this way-no making my, no sleeping I get-so as to ensure we pull down the obstructing barriers to our nights rests, whether self erected or otherwise, so we can enjoy good, sound, sleep.

After a hard day’s work I should add. This brings me to the timing of making our beds. When should be the appropriate time to make this bed in question? Obviously not when we are weary and worn…

The fact that some even go as far as keeping the sheets so dirty, the ooze from it could kill a distant fly is somewhat unimaginable to some extent but true.

Then others just cannot tell the difference between clean sheets and dirty ones, they just make their beds with the sheets as they are, not bothering with the fine art of clean sheets in the least.

Then comes the herculean task of accepting a point-out, if, and when it comes from others about their not-so clean sheets. God help you, if you are so unfortunate to be the one to tell one of these kinds that their sheets are dirty. You will be faced with the real life drama of denial, abuse of your person and/or serious arguments about whether or not the sheets are clean or dirty and how minding your own business can be a blessing. Then if you do get off easy, strict warning to keep your opinions to yourself and disappear.

I imagine that playing mother hen or goose in these kinds of situation is not a very rewarding pastime but let’s face it, how many of us truly like being told about our dirty anything? Whether we are going about it the public display way or just keeping our private matters private? Hmm, how many? Not many I must say, for rather than be approached by others when we are wrong or lacking in an area, we will would prefer to glide in our state of blissful ignorance and “undisturbedness” if I am allowed to use this grammar at this point.

How about those who clearly lack proper assessment of times and tides? They either end up getting the wrong kind of fabric for the opposite kind of weather as bedsheets and altogether are unprepared to whether the storm or shine when it comes. They are sweating profusely in hot situations and nearly dieing of cold due to thin coverings in freezing atmosphere. 

In these circumstances the supposed well equipped beds, sheets and pillow situations end up being nothing better than the cases of those who have some of the items missing or non of the items in the set at all. They therefore end up facing same life challenges with the have-some or have-nots.

For those of us that have the luxury of having their beds tended to by others, congratulations! But can I quickly point out here that not all situations in this life will always allow pseudo arrangements. For instance, imagine the awkwardness of being fed by another when you are not an invalid or a baby. Even when invalid and aged, the uncomfortable picture of someone else passing you a spoonful at times will make you sit up and fill-up, except in extreme cases where hands fail to meet mouth and then there’s nothing wrong with someone else helping out. Nothing at all.

Other than such cases, we had better get ourselves training on how to make our beds since/if can afford to, or watch as each hour of the night finds us wide awake and deeply irritated and the morning does not help but expose our state of restlessness and lack of sleep. Not a very good condition to be caught in I promise you.

I have heard of and know that some of us can pass out on a bed, clean sheets or not dressed or undressed, and sleep to their hearts content and never be disturbed by the happenings around them. Even if a dedicated, hardworking carpenter decided to take shop by their beds in rigorous job-fulfilling hammering, every day for every night of every year! Well….(where is that smiley with a zipper for lips…)

They don’t bulge or loose sleep over one carpenter who has failed to search the Holy Scripture to discover and understand the importance and meaning of “He giveth His beloveth sweet sleep”.
Forgetting that eventually, what happens to those who sleep on dirty sheets will happen to them. No matter how long it takes, the itching will start and the rash will appear, howbeit, you being the only one to fully understand goings on, but a repercussion always rears it head, ugly to sight or hidden.

Then come the natural human tendency of comparison. Beds, sheets, pillows, the sizes, colours and texture among other issues now get to be evaluated and compared with that of others and precious time that could be used to, for instance, work out how best to improve on our bedroom settings is wasted on the mind sapping activity of “why them and not me” not bothering to put into consideration the hard work and attention that may have come into play before such restfulness was achieved.

As much as God will grant His beloved sweet sleep, it is still up to you and I to play our part. We are to get into our PJ’s or whatever comfortable clothing we require for sleeping, dress our beds and keep to the routine of ensuring the bedding remain clean and tidy as often as necessary. Finding time and opportunity to get spare sheets and slips as we can afford.

Ultimately, the onus for a good night sleep rests with us and no one else. Let’s make effort to ensure we do a good job of ensuring complete restfulness.

We can add progress to this process of bed making given time and effort and practice by adding such things as beautiful smelling fragrance for effect and of course, the cooling system etc etc.

It is after we have successfully played our parts that we can look around, heave a sigh of relief, and stretch out relaxed and content to take naps or night rests as the case may determine.

Otherwise ask ourselves; what exactly I’m I missing out in this process of bed making that is causing my lack of sound sleep?

Once we are able to detect where the problem lies and ultimately do something about it, it’s hello sleep and goodbye sleeplessness.

Or at least count sheep for extra help.

The snore comes naturally. 

As long as it’s not too loud, it’s allowed, after all, you worked for it. So, sleep tight!

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

The “jobless” better half.

This is fast becoming a bit of a headache in most families and the strain on the economic activities and earnings does nothing but help add salt to an already infested wound.

Bonds and relationships are constantly on trial from the daily financial requirements of the individual and collective demands that must be supplied.

Paycheck of parents do not sufficiently cover expenses without spillovers and the take-home pay does nothing but get you to the bus stop these days, especially when you have so many obligations that are already “stannding deductions” to your accounts which must be met except you want repo men showing at your doorstep for definitely more than a hello call.

Then wifey or hubby goes and gets herself or himself fired!

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What about the partner that has not succeeded in landing a job let alone keep it.

The weeks of taking care of the responsibilities alone, on the part of one of the couple, become months, that become years of pure agony.

Gradually, the bite becomes harsher and bitter and eventually disastrous.

The relationship starts to suffer.

One or both of the parties involved cannot bear it any longer.

What. To. Do?

I’ve heard of a man that lost his job, he was probably ashamed or afraid to intimate his family, and every morning, he gets dressed as usual but instead of going to the office like before, he goes about looking for another job until the wife finds out….

What. To. Do?

If you have ever been in this situation, you will agree that it’s not a funny place to be AT ALL.

But somehow, somewhere, a company downsizes-or whatever term suits the situation-and people are let go and for those who do not have a “fallback” on, the landing is so rocky that victims have severe broken limbs to show and nurse from their fall.

The fabric of the relationship is the next to feel the wear and tear that comes with the situation at hand after a lot of “sacrifices and let go’s” have been made.

Depending on the extent of maturity, patience and tolerance, of those involved, the reactions to the already apparent situation and the pending future doom further looming at the corner- except something happens real quick-begin to unfold!

Whether there will be adverse effects of one of two in relationship loosing a job is not in question here, because there will be all sorts of emotions running free and wild at such a time,  but rather, the handling of the situation and the emotions that come with; “I am out of the labour market” no matter how temporary or otherwise it is.

This is not a financial appraisal of what you should have done, what you should be doing or what you can do-financially per se-but a look at how we have allowed an already bad situation become worse.

There are some things that we could do and not do that could help soften the “slap” of loosing a job and keep us from landing in a courtroom with husband and wife slugging it out and trying to win the who-has-the-dirtiest-sharpest-tongue contest to the shame and heartache of family and friends.

It’s not the time for constant “referrals”.

I get that the situation can come as a rude shock to everyone involved but what I don’t get is, why we  always have to refer to the sack at every given opportunity especially in a bid to degrade, settle scores, look superior or some other self-serving schemes we may have up our sleeves. This is definitely a no, no.

How does this help the situation?

If anything and if you must make referrals, please do so in areas that will assist the “job search” of your friend or spouse and not go out of your way to prove superiority or relevance because you still keep a job.

Rather, remember that the axe can swing anyone’s way because loosing a job doesn’t necessarily mean the one is incompetent.

As for you, the one that lost the job, not every remark is aimed at you and ultimately seeks to further floor you from your position of “downfall”.

So “man up” or “woman up” as the case may be.

It’s not the time to expect immediate rapid change.

Depending on the individual and the circumstances around the “let go”, change may be difficult to make.

While some might take it in their stride and jump on the next bus towards the next job opportunity, others might want to take time to think through what just happen, absorb it, before taking decisions towards their next destination.

For some they might indeed get a move on but to destination x and will be busy trying out various ideas and things while some would consider a career change or might just want to start up that dream or vision of their’s.

So please, try and understand the position of things before making demands on change and expectations.

It’s not the time to rant and rave.

When all your neighbours can hear from your household, is your exchange of words with your spouse with lots of blame and insults trending and trading, then that’s a setup for disaster!

It solves nothing, resolves nothing, changes nothing and is worth nothing, so I won’t even dwell on it.

Please stop it!

If not for your sakes, then for your children. If that’s not a consideration, then for your sanity.

Please!

It’s not the time to have a “pity party” either.

I personally think of all the “do nots”, this is the most degrading.

What you lost is “a job” not your life!

So it’s not the end of the world-maybe the end of a phase-so move on to the next phase of your life!

What happened to as long as there’s life there’s hope?

You have to pick up yourself and move on for nobody else will do it for you.

Not your husband/wife, your children, family or friends. So quit the whining, it will get you no where, fast.

Learn the lessons of the fall.

This should be one of the paramount things to do in this situation and it would be helpful if the unaffected spouse-well the one that didn’t loose the job-to assist with this. With all the care required coming to bear or else, get ready for war! 🙂

This being, there could be some things that your partner may be oblivious to or might not be ready to accept. So that’s where you come in.

The watchword again-care. 

So please be careful.

Unless you are a phycologist, don’t play the part.

Even if you are, do it with care.

I might be wrong but, would this be the time to want to pick your spouse’s brain to see what’s going on in there? How balanced he/she is? How the situation has affected them.

I think not.

If that is a concern though, then leave it to the experts or another expert if you are one yourself.

Well, what do I know? I’m not a phycologist. I’m just saying…

Redirect your energy

Some folks are just completely restless and when befallen with this kind of issue, their inability to “sit still” could be their undoing.

So for the love of peace and sanity do something to keep that energy busy so you don’t implode or explode and destroy stuff in your path like family and friends.

And hey, as much as you think some members of the family could have played a part to the whole “loss” thing, you ultimately are responsible for what happens to you.

Not the children. Not the spouse but you. So get a grip on it and MOVE ON.

The quicker the better!

There are a lot of things you want to do to get back into your game.

Just make sure you understand what to do and do it passionately without fear, prejudice and blame.

Remember that it could have been worse. But here you are, alive and making a comeback.

Just be grateful.

Besides, it could be a blessing in disguise and if you think it’s not make it one!

With God’s help, you are unstoppable!