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Monday, December 24, 2012

Two sides, Same coin


It’s the day before Christmas 2012. Everywhere you look there are lights flash red, white, green and blue; accompanied by a cacophony of carols, old ad new. There is a general gaiety in the air. There is the usual last minute rush to do some shopping, plan a quick trip, and make the most of the few days off from work, so traffic is of course crazy!  In the middle of it all, there are those of us (yours truly included) who are still trying to figure how come it’s Christmas in August…… Yup! It seems like last week it was August, then the weekend came and Christmas stared us in the face. There has been an unprecedented busyness around the office and an incredible pile-up of work-related to-do’s. For the first time in many years, even my children didn’t make any comment about setting up the Christmas tree. I figure they could tell that mummy dearest was too tired to think about the tree, lol. Thankfully, we finally got round to it a couple of days ago.

As always, there is an air of expectancy; varied as the reasons for this might be. All said and late as it was, Saturday was supposed to be my day to try and key fully into the holiday mode. I had it all mapped out. An hour with my personal trainer at the gym; a quick dash to join the last minute shoppers; a quick visit to a couple of friends; and then home to excitedly await the arrival of my first son from the airport.

I only got as far as the gym though. My personal trainer’s face told me something was very wrong. A children’s party at the club poolside the day before…. a 3year old girl had drowned!  Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe properly. My heart constricted and the tears began to flow. How? What? Why? The answers were truly irrelevant. She was and is dead! In my devastation my heart immediately reached out to the mother. I have no idea who she is, but I visualized a young woman who had lovingly prepared her daughter for a children’s Christmas party, barely five minutes drive from her home and in a place where she had spent countless hours prior to this. How was this woman supposed to imagine as she kissed her and drove off, that that would be the last time she would see her little girl alive? I visualized her home… blinking lights on the tree and in the garden; gifts lovingly wrapped; arrangements made for cakes and food and drinks, etc. So many plans laid out for the holidays and the New Year. How could this family ever have imagined the pain they would go through, in this season of festivities?

All day, I kept thinking about the devastation of this family. I realized of course that there are a million more families out there who had, in times past; and who would, even this season, have to deal with some form of loss or the other. For all their pain, the carols will continue to play; Christmas lights will glow brighter still; fireworks will be even more brilliant this year than ever before. Indeed, life will go on!  As surely as God is real, life will go on. Life will go on despite their pain; despite their devastation's. Life is life! It is a combination and culmination of our various experiences, good and bad; painful and pleasurable.  We will, each and every one of us, have our fair share of life. Life is your one coin, sis; and like it or not, you and I will have to deal with either, and/or both sides of our own coin at some point in our lives or the other.

Yes, life is just the one coin! You and I have the unique choice of determining whether we will spend our lives, or be spent by life. What’s the difference? From my perspective, the difference is in how much of our lives we are willing to try and live in our own strength, wisdom and power; as compared to how much of our lives we are willing to yield completely to God, so as to live in the wisdom, strength and power of the Lord. God has given us the choice… if only we could really see, sis. If only we could really, really see!

The secular world promotes the principle that ‘Attitude determines your altitude’. I so agree! I agree even more so when the spiritual dimension of this simple phrase is considered. It is our attitude to God that determines our altitude in life. Regardless of what side of our coin is lying face up at any point in our lives, our altitude… our ability to effectively cope with our successes and our failures, is determined by our attitude toward God! Success can be greatly mismanaged, minus a recognition and full acknowledgement that God is our source; that we are all we are because of all He has allowed us to be; that our lives and times are in His hands; that He is the one who causes us to prosper. Failures/troubles and tragedies alike can totally cripple us, minus a recognition that our strength comes from the Lord; that He is our helper, our comforter; that He is able to give us beauty for ashes; that He works all things out for our good; that He is always with us; that He is our burden-bearer; that He shares our pain.

This family and all others who are hurting at this time can only but look up and trust that God is God! They do not need to understand their loss; for indeed they cannot! His Word is clear that His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways. We cannot comprehend God, and neither should we try. He is too big for us to figure. As our lives play out, we need to keep our eyes fixed on Him. Regardless of whether we are in our season of carols and twinkling lights, or if we are in a season of gross darkness, He is the source of our one coin… our lives, our all. His desire is that we live to the fullness of the potentials that He has put in each and every one of us. He has prepared us to be victorious even through our storms. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. He is available always to help us go through. He holds us in the palm of His hands. He rejoices when we are happy. He collects our tears in a bottle when life tries to beat us down.

I don’t know where you are in life now sis. I have no idea which side of your coin is lying face up in this season. What I do know is that you have just this one coin sis. It was given to you to spend fully. Apply it rightly, and you will receive full value. Yes sis, full value will come if you keep your eyes on the King, regardless of your circumstances or situation. Only in this space will you and I always come out victorious.  The Lord will help you sis. He will help me!


Be blessed! For you surely are!






  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Love Beyond Measure



I was watching an episode of ‘America’s Got Talent’ a couple of days ago. I absolutely love that show. From the quirky ‘I can’t watch this’ displays; the crazy young lady in pink who faked a talent jut to get to meet Howard Stern; to other really great talents that get to feature; the show makes for interesting light entertainment to my tired self at the end of a long day.

An act was introduced – a young lady whose name I really do not recollect save for the fact that she is the daughter of late Florence Joyner (Flo Jo) and Al Joyner, both of whom made remarkable strides in competitive track and field events, nationally and internationally. Ms Joyner came on stage to perform a song, her dad anxiously hovering at the edge of the stage. She dedicated her performance to her late mum, and then proceeded to give a beautiful rendition of the song she had prepared for her audition. It truly felt like a touch of heaven in that auditorium as she sang. Indeed her mum would have been proud.

As Ms. Joyner sang, the camera moved over to where her dad stood. His trepidation before she started to sing was apparent. He was clearly anxious for her. He knew without a shadow of a doubt, just how important the next few minutes were for her. He had held her hand and walked her through hours of practice all leading up to this stage. As she began to sing, the camera held his gaze. His love for her, the pride he felt was palpable. Watching him, my own heart swelled with emotion. I watched as his eyes slowly brimmed with tears. He made no attempt to wipe them as they spilled over. This was his baby, his little angel… having a moment that could change her life forever; and boy was she doing a great job in the spotlight.

 At the end of her audition, the judges had asked her how she felt and she said she wished more than anything else that her mother could have been alive to see her on stage, but she'd felt her presence and knew that her mother was really proud of her at that moment. The judges invited her father on stage and in the ensuing moments, through his tears he spoke glowingly and lovingly about his daughter. Back stage he kept holding her and hugging her through more of his tears. So much love was evident between these two, I tell you that.

There was many a teary eye in my room that evening as my family and I watched this program. I looked over at my only daughter, who sat slightly ahead of me. I had a moment when I saw her on that stage, wishing I had been there to see her in her spotlight. Immediately, I choked up and silent tears began to stream down my face. As I struggled with my heaving chest and the raw pain in my heart, I begged God silently for mercy and favor to allow me see my children grow into mature adults. I was grateful for my family being engrossed in the next act that had come on, because I didn't want to traumatize my children with my many tears. It took everything in me to gain composure enough to silently speak life into myself and declare according to His Word, that I would live and not die; that I would live to see my children’s children; that I would live to a ripe old age still bringing forth fruits. I reminded myself that my life and times are in the hands of the Lord and that even if He calls me early, He would be father and mother to my children; and He is more than able to look after my children and ensure they still live in His divine abundance and protection.

I have been thinking about the depth of emotion I went through in those few minutes that day, simply thinking about how much love I have for each of my children. I kept seeing the love on Al Joyner’s face and it so resonated with my feelings. And then the Lord ministered to me that even the deepest depths of the love I have for my children does not begin to scratch the surface of the love He has for His children…. the love He has for me, and for you sis! He spoke to me spirit and let me know that if I had even an inkling of how much love He had for me....  if I could get a glimpse of the full depth of His love…. my heart would simply and literally explode in overwhelm. I didn't need to ask ‘How can this be Lord?’ No! I didn't need to ask. This quiet ministration brought to me what is the most clarity I have ever received about the love of God towards me, towards you sis.

I have been walking around in a renewed awe of God's love and of His mercy since that evening, a continuous stream of prayers and praise, worship and thanksgiving on my lips. Share with me in this praise sis. He is surely worthy of all our praise.  

Father, I thank You for Your love for me and for mine. Lord, I thank You because despite my shortcomings, my inconsistencies, my failings, my unfaithfulness, my ingratitude, my selfishness… thank You that despite all these, You love me Lord! You love me beyond my comprehension. Thank You Father because it is in this love that You called me and saved me and gave me the right and privilege to call You ‘Father’ and ‘Lord’. Thank You Lord that You are always with me; that even when I stray, You are always right here by my side. Thank You that nothing I do can ever diminish Your love for me. Father, thank You that You counted me worthy oh Lord. Thank You for choosing me Lord, for setting me apart.

Father, I thank You because of Your mercies upon my life. I thank You for seen mercies for which I have testified. More than this Lord I thank You for Your unseen mercies. I thank You for Your unmerited favor. I thank You for deliverance. I thank You for healing. I thank You Lord for provision. I thank You Lord because even in my storms, You have shown yourself strong. Father, I thank You for my children, biological and otherwise. Thank You Lord allowing me to know the joy of being a parent; thank You for allowing me experience the love of, and for children. Thank You Father for the great people You have put in my life and who have brought me so much stability over the years. Father, thank You for the love of a great man! Father, I thank You for so much love and peace in my home. Father,  thank You for strength to carry through and to overcome every adverse situation. Thank You for the things You have brought me through Lord.

Father thank You that I am the apple of Your eye. Thank You for loving me enough to send Your son to die for me. Thank You because in Him I have the assurance of my eternal salvation. Thank You because I have a hope and an expectation to be with You in heaven,  Lord….. not by my works, my goodness or of any righteousness; but by Your love beyond measure, oh Lord. Father, I am so grateful. Father, I thank You. Everything that is in me gives You all the praise, oh Lord. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.

Sis, I want to speak a word of encouragement to you today. I ask that you take a good look at your life. Look beyond the apparent challenges you have or think you have. Look at the things that you are allowing or have allowed to hold you down, to steal your peace. Then look up to the Father….. Can you see it? Look up sis at a love the depth of which you cannot begin to fathom. Look up and know that He loves you so much that He will ensure that everything works out eventually for your good. He loves you as you are sis - imperfections and all. He loves you completely and totally and there’s nothing you can do to take away from this truth. 

Beyond what any earthly parent, spouse, child, sibling or friend can do; the Lord will stand by you. He is the one you can always run to. He is the one Who will always walk you through. Keep your eyes fixed on Him sis. He knows the things that are important to you. He will hold your hand; He will guide you through. And when you hit your spotlight.... when you are set to conquer your stage, He will be there watching you with pride. He will give you every support to ensure an excellent performance. And in the end, He will say to you, ‘Well done my good and perfect daughter’.

Submit to His love once again today sis. Let His love beyond measure be the center of your everything, and your all. The Lord will help you sis. He will help me!

Be blessed…. For you surely are!


About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.