Lessons from Happy Feet

I just saw Happy Feet in between doing office work. I know. Don’t shoot me. Anyway, i loved the story, and it got me thinking. Being different really, is both a good and bad thing.

Bad, in the sense that no one else will ever be able to hear that drumbeat in your head, or that song in your heart or that nudge in your gut, or that dance in your step. In the case of the penguins they only knew one thing, singing. They made a great show of it too. Then came this penguin, and he was good with his feet. Nobody had ever thought beyond their voice they could do anything else. Instantly, he stuck out as odd. When you are different, people are quick to label you odd, wierd, freak. Just because you don’t fit into their definition of normal. But then normal is just what they have grown used to. Does the norm justify normalcy?

Because being different can also be a good thing. The penguin was good with his feet. It alienated him from his peers, but the very thing that got him kicked out of community was the same thing that saved that commuity. From the film, I learnt the place of courage. When you are different you will need courage to not lose your gift and blend with the crowd, you will need courage to stand alone, and as is peculiar to all who are different you will need courage to discover the reason for your difference. Beacuse there always is a reason, a noble reason at that. God always equips us with the ability to fulfill our destiny. And then glory follows.


No Longer Young

this morning i pulled a prank call on an old school buddy. Just before she hung up, she said “I have to go to work”. And that’s when the light bulb went off in my head.

Something i had known all along suddenly popped up in my face: We are no longer young. No longer kids. School is over. Real Life begins!

Stepping Out

NOTE: This is one of my writings back in school when i published a newsletter for my fellowship.

They stared at him. And he didn’t need the help of language to discern their thoughts. Crazy! Looney!! Spooked!!! Their stare spoke volumes. He didn’t blame them, couldn’t blame them. If the tables were turned and he was on the other end, he’d share the same thoughts. But the spotlight was on him. He ws on center stage. And though he wasn’t very comfortable up there, he knew there was no stepping down. No, the only stepping he was going to do was out. Out of the lives of some of these people staring. Out of the confines of these four walls he had grown up in. Out of the familiarity of this territory he had come to settle down in. Out of the mutual laughs and hearty hugs he had shared with the folks next door and down the street. Out of comfort zone. No, Abe knew he couldn’t step down. It wasn’t an option. There was only one response: stepping out. For he knew what he had heard. True, he didn’t see a face. He couldn’t trace the voice. But as sure as his heartbeat, he knew the words. He could repeat them verbatim. Not that he memorized them. Or penned them down. Somehow, they seemed to spring up from within him. Ever since he first heard the voice: “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen. 12:1-3. Paraphrased: Abe, relocate. Cut loose. Pack your bags and take a trip. You’re going to call the shots.”

Granted, it was a tall order. With a lot of fringe benefits. A nicely packaged deal. More than you could ask for. The kind of deal that pushes you in the back. When you know the clout of the person talking. When you’ve seen the assets displaying his name tag. And you’ve seen the results of his signature. But when all you’ve got is a word, and a calling card with only three plain letters: GOD. When you have never met El-Shaddai, and only knew about Elohim from stories under the moonlight. When you don’t have pages of exploits recorded over a period of two thousand years. When you come from a heritage who believed the owner of the store, the man upstairs, the one who spun the globe, was the dusty wooden figure up on the topmost shelf. Then the choice is a lot more straight forward: an amusing joke, a good laugh. Abe had every reason to laugh too. To stay back. And not move a muscle. Foe besides the integrity of the speaker was a long list of blanks. No destination. No road map. No address. No phone number. No name. No travel allowance. No flight ticket. No travel agency. A trip to the unknown. No sir, too many unknowns. Too many untold essentials. Too many omitted necessities. Too many vague propositions. So lets face it. The same Commander who recruited old Abe has recruited us too. Romans 8: 30. And the marching orders are no different. A mission is given with no accompanying game-plan. The next time you think of you and God, think of Abe and God. And think: typical. So when you face the days ahead with a deceased dad and an aged no-working mom, when the rest of your days continue from the unpaid bills, the quit notice, the rejection letter, the medical report, the abuse, the assault, the robbery, the divorce, the horror, trauma, fear; when the story of your life continues from a focal point of pain and adversity, you would do well to remember that the deal Abe got. Plenty of unknowns. Uncertainties. Limitations. But a shield and exceeding great reward. Gen 15: 1. So when stepping down is not an option, stepping out is still well worth it.

His Truth, My Shield

I was just reading my bible when I discovered another reason to do a song and dance. Psalm 91v 4 has a beautiful ending phrase: “his truth is your shield”. I do not know how many times I have read this psalm, but today I saw something I have never seen before. Another proof to God’s preparedness for his children. I am coming to that state of full persuasion that goes beyond mental assent that nothing ever takes God by surprise. He is always aware; and always prepared.

As long as we remain on this side of eternity, we will always have challenges. Jesus said it this way: in the world you will have tribulations. But the catch was that, in spite of the tribulations, he added: “… be of good cheer”. See, he made a provision against the tribulations. Yet we find it difficult to lift our heads and walk tall when the burdens and weights of the world begin to press in on us. Why? Because we forget. We remember that he made the provisions to rise above the tide, but we forget how to activate the provision.

I know this firsthand. Because my life is presently a contradiction to the promises God made me, and some days, it is every effort to get out of bed and deal with the day. Sometimes, I wonder if God forgot. Sometimes I wonder if he gave up on me. Sometimes I wonder if maybe the enemy just beat God on this one. Sometimes I wonder why God is such a slow coach.

I do not have all the explanations yet. But finding this verse of scripture, I know that I can stay in the game; I know that I can stick with the program. See, no matter what facts the devil throws at me, God says, Put up your shield Son. My shield is His Truth, the words he has spoken to me. See, God cannot lie. Even if he tried. Because his word is law. What he says becomes. So when God tells me that I have a goodly heritage, that’s law. And when the enemy comes to tell me that I got the short end of the stick I can hold up my shield – God’s Truth.

One Word Meme

A Meme – One Word Responses
1. Yourself: Laidback
2. Your partner: Searching
3. Your hair: Black
4. Your mother: Hero
5. Your father: Helper
6. Your favourite item: Laptop
7. Your dream last night: None
8. Your favourite drink: Fanta
9. Your dream car: Jeep
10. The room you are in: Small
11. Your ex: None
12. Your fear: Failure
13. What you want to be in 10 years: Fulfilled
14. Who you hung out with last night: Myself
15. What you’re not: Outspoken
16. Muffins: Uncertain
17: One of your wish list items: Laptop
18: Time: Flies
19. The last thing you did: Cooked
20. What you are wearing: Boxers
21. Your favourite weather: Rain
22. Your favourite book: Loads!
23. The last thing you ate: Beans
24. Your life: Revealing
25. Your mood: Reflective
26. Your best friend: K
27. What you’re thinking about right now: Future
28. Your car: Wish
29. What you are doing at the moment: THIS
30. Your summer: None
31. Your relationship status: Searching
32. What is on your TV: Pass
33. What is the weather like: OK
34. When was the last time you laughed: Awhile

Finding Faith.

How did I get here? How did I get to this place where everything I used to be so sure of does not make sense anymore? And more importantly, how do I deal with it?

I read recently on a blog I just discovered, something I believe rings true. God offends the mind to reveal the heart. It is amazing how much of ourselves show up when put against the scriptures. I guess that explains the portion that talks about the word being sharper than any two-edged sword and dividing asunder between bone and marrow.

In very recent times I feel like I have been under an intense and thorough autopsy by the word. And the results have made even me cringe. There are things about me that I never imagined existed that have suddenly come to light as I attempt to discover my place in God and life. And I hang my head. And I wonder how God can love me still. How he could love me at all. See, I know that these negatives that have showed up in my life are not something I just picked up; rather, they grew with me. They were there all along and just waited for the right amount of pressure and circumstance to spotlight them. What makes it painful for me is the thought I have always had that I was pretty good. I mean, when you think of it, I have been. Raised up proper and perfect, not indulging in youthful exuberance and delinquencies like my peers, I had inadvertently developed a certain self-righteousness. Now suddenly, I was showed up for what I really was: Imperfect.

Maybe that is what triggered my bitterness against God. Maybe that is why I got so mad and lashed out at him. No one enjoys been shown their baseness, and it ripped the core of me, at the way God was showing me up for the person I never knew I was. It didn’t help in the least to know that the reason for this exposure was because I had been chosen and selected for a higher cause. I am aware that God searches the soul before he attempts to use the man. When he picked David, scripture records that he had considered and rejected the elders. Why? Because David had a character that would love even when lost, question without quitting, and wait to win. He had a character that would sin and be sorry, praise under pressure and trust without a trace. And now for the very first time in my life I was faced with the revelation that I did not love God as much as I thought I did. I couldn’t really stand up for me as I always believed I would. Not because I didn’t want to. Because I couldn’t. I was weak. Enough reason for every logical mind to pass up on me. But typical of the Divine mind to pick me. Paul put it this way: God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.

So it is not because I am able, but because he is able. It is not because I am strong, but because he is strong. It is not because I am good, but because he is good. In deed, it is not about me at all; it is all about Him. And to walk with him knowing and understanding this dependency, I have to walk by faith. Like Enoch. Like Abraham. Like Jesus. I have to trust Him with my inadequacies and my uncertainties. I have to know and believe that He will not put me up to fail, but will stand up for me; that he will me not leave me hanging. I have to give up control and expose myself. I have to find my faith again.

God’s Way to Get Strong

Hi Blog Family, sorry about the undocumented days. Better internet access should find a place on my prayer list i guess. Thanks to all the comments on my last post. It did set me thinking some. I guess i am looking at God through a shattered glass. That will change.

I was going to put up another post but i opened my mailbox this morning and saw this mail from Joel Osteen. It seems like a perfect next entry. Be blessed as it blessed me. And thanks to you all for being there for a Soldier. Much love and gratitude.

Today’s Scripture

“I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
(2 Corinthians 12:10)

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

The secret to staying strong in your faith is really no secret at all. You just have to live in the strength that God provides, not your own! When you feel you are at your weakest, that is when you must exercise your faith the hardest. When you physically grow, there are growing pains, and the same is true spiritually. As you continue to stretch and work out your faith, it will get easier. God will bring you supernatural opportunities. He will open doors for you so that you can express your faith in a greater way. That’s how you continue to grow. God does this sometimes to prove to His followers that it is really Him who strengthens His servants to do good work. Fight off your weakness by doing some strength conditioning in your faith!

A Prayer for Today

God, thank You for giving me Your strength for whatever comes my way. Help me to continue stretching my faith and growing spiritually stronger. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Baby Steps

Coming back from a major spiritual low is for me presently a slow process. I say my prayers more often now, and it is no longer a series of accusations. I no longer lash out at God for his insistence at making a hero out of me. I no longer blame him for my inexperience and the circumstances of my past. I speak in tongues more too. It is a little dry and almost mechanical, but I am reminded that any device out of use for a while is almost always cranky in the first few moments of reuse. I look forward to when my tongues are a smoothness that comes from intimacy. I still don’t hear Him daily like I used to yet; but I am still aware of his presence. It almost seems like he is just hovering around, close but safe. It seems like I really hurt him and he doesn’t want to get hurt again. Like he knows how bitter I got and he understands and is giving me time to work through my emotions.

You know, it’s funny how some people think on God like he is this huge mighty deity somewhere far in the heavens. I couldn’t disagree more. I feel him like I feel the person next to me. I feel his emotions. I didn’t think he would have any, but I am reminded of scriptures admonition not to grieve him. Only one with emotions can be grieved. I remember his embrace, his wink, his humor, his delight, his grin. I remember his surprises. I remember our sparring. And I miss him so much. And I cannot wait to get there again.

But for now its baby steps. I am glad he is allowing me work through my feelings to understand that beyond the anger, bitterness, fear, frustration and a bunch of other negative things I had allowed into my spirit, underneath all of that there was still His love deep within. I guess sometimes when the one you really love feels betrayed by you, the only thing you can do is let your love defend you. I remember a line from one of Tyler Perry’s movies, Diary of a Mad Black Woman: Anytime you want to give in to the fear, you just let our love outweigh it. Indeed, perfect love does cast out fear. And I feel I am slowly being reworked by the perfect love that I have known. He isn’t rushing in to redeem himself with me, but he is allowing me to discover that His love may be obscure but it is never absent. I haven’t consciously told him I love him yet. I want to say it, but I am not sure I am ready.

Baby steps, but am almost there. He didn’t give up on me then. He hasn’t yet. He has loved me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31v3)

Picking up the pieces

You know, the good thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go from there is up. I am really not surprised the way things have turned out. The writing was up on the wall, and i was more like a spectator watching my life careen on a fast lane i had never traveled before. A long time ago, i heard or read somewhere that, life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. That makes a whole lot of sense to me now.

Basically, there are two things i could do, i thought to myself. I could stay down and die. Or i could pick up the pieces and start over. Giving up is always easier, but i guess for a man whom Christ foreknew, predestined and chose before the foundation of the world, giving up is not an option.

I read my bible today, after what seems like ages. And i spoke in tongues too. I have never reached such a spiritual low before, but it now makes a whole lot of sense what David wrote in the psalms: my soul longs for you in a dry and thirsty land. I had become so distanced from god, that even though i was aware of him, i just could not connect to him. I had been living off the word deposit in me, and i had hit an empty tank. It is not a pleasant feeling to lose your intimacy with God. So many times, i watched with lustful, envious feelings when i saw others worship and commune with god. It was a place i had been before; a place i longed to be in, but i just couldn’t find my way there. Anger and bitterness had crept in. Despair and depression followed.

But I can either be a victim of my past, or i can be a pioneer of my future. So i decided to pick up the pieces of my life, and applied for a two week leave off work. I needed to take responsibility for my life and my future. Pea wrote in one of her posts that God sent the manna, but the people has to go and pick it up.

I have written this paragraph a number of times but I can’t seem to put down the words that are in my head to put down. Maybe because behind the words are emotions I should no longer have. Well, basically while I was away I went home to see my mom. It was a time of joy and grief. Joy, because after so long I was home again; grief because I had to go again. To a life of service in ministry. But I had to leave. At this point I was not so sure whether I believed the promises God had given me. I used to think maybe I had heard wrong, but it was different now. I was angry and bitter and rebellious. And I didn’t care much what God wanted me to do again.

After a week at home, I went back to school to pick up my Statement of Results for my B.Sc and also apply for the one year of service to the government that every graduate is supposed to go through. They call it the “National Youth Service Corps”. Others call it “Now Your Suffering Continues”. I always thought I would be able to avoid it. To me it was and still is a waste of time and talent. But it is a law in the country, and I have come a long way to learn that some laws have to be kept.

So I am back in the office. The first thing I did is to visit our HR department. I used to think because I was working in ministry miracles would happen. Well, I guess miracles will still happen, but God also needs a rod to use. I had neglected to pick up my certificates and neglected the laws of the land for graduates simply because I believed God had called me to be in ministry and he would just take me all the way through. Well, I know better now. Because of my lack of certificates I couldn’t qualify for certain benefits – even in ministry. So now, am working and hoping to get myself some professional certifications. I might be doing time for God, but God also needs trained hands. David said: he teaches my hands and my fingers to fight and to do war. There is always a training required.

I am going to have to stop here because this is not coming out the way I would like it to. Bottom line, I am back on blogger and to blogging and my internet access permitting, I should be regular again.

Each day I learn that I have so much yet to learn. At least now I know.