Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Could Have Had a Stroke but for the Grace of God

I am not a person that loves to frequent doctors’ rooms or dentists’ surgeries. I have a prayer that I utter once in a while; “Lord, when you know I am about to kill myself, please rush me to the doctor! Amen”. It is a very silly prayer but I thank God, my Father for His faithfulness even when we are downright stupid. So, by the grace of God, in the month of October I surprised myself by voluntarily going for a very long overdue dental visit.

After that visit, I decided to go for another long overdue Pap smear test (a test that detects cervical cancer). It was when I went for the Pap smear results that I happened to mention to my doctor that I seemed to be drinking far too much water especially at night. I was waking up every two hours to use the bathroom and drink about three glasses of water. I would get so thirsty that my heart felt like it had a wound in it. The doctor proceeded to take a reading of my blood sugar level. The reading was at 28mM, five times higher than normal! I had to be hospitalized immediately.

The warning signs had been there for a full week and even months before, though at a lower scale. I just kept ignoring them. Since I am already hypertensive, I kept telling myself that I do not want to be diabetic as well. So in my own naive way, I tried to deal with a problem that badly needed the doctor’s professional and urgent attention.
The article I have attached below encouraged me to tell others about listening to ill-health warning signs.

Could you miss warning signs of a heart attack

Stats show that five South Africans have a heart attack every hour. Worryingly, some don’t even realise it. Priscilla Chandro, 42, was one of them.

“As I tucked my daughter Anusha, then four, into bed that evening, I couldn’t wait for a bit of downtime and an early night. But, when I went to bed, I just couldn’t settle. I had a nasty aching pain in my head. It wasn’t like a normal headache, and it wasn’t just my head that hurt – my arms were aching, too.

After an hour of tossing and turning, I decided to take some painkillers. I felt a wave of heat go through my body, so I lay on the couch before going into the kitchen. It was only Anusha and me in the house, as I’m separated from her father. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor, looking up at the ceiling. I don’t know how long I was out for, but I was certain I had fainted. Although I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, I knew something was very wrong.
I managed to get up and call my parents, who are both retired nurses and live nearby. My dad came round immediately and called an ambulance. By then, I was cold and shivery, and the paramedics suggested I had flu. I didn’t really agree with them, but I didn’t argue. They didn’t do an ECG (a test that measures the electrical activity and rhythm of the heart), although they did offer to take me to hospital. But I didn’t want to be a nuisance, so I refused.

The next morning, I woke up with a dull ache in the middle of my chest. As it was one of my days off from my part-time admin job, I went to see my GP, who carried out an ECG. When she saw the tracings of my heart’s activity, I could tell she was worried, especially as she then called the local hospital. However, they didn’t seem too concerned, so she sent me home, advising me to go to the emergency room if I still felt bad.

That weekend, Anusha went to her dad’s. On the Saturday night, I had planned to go dancing with friends. The ache in my chest was still there but, as I’d seen my doctor, I tried to ignore it. But, when it hadn’t gone by Sunday lunchtime, I became really anxious and went to the emergency room. They ran more tests, and then the cardiologist came into the cubicle I was in, looking serious. I can’t describe the shock I felt when I heard that I’d had a massive heart attack on the Thursday night and was lucky to be alive. I burst into tears. 

Surely I would have known? Where were the typical symptoms, like crushing chest pain and breathlessness? An angiogram (an X-ray test using dyes and a camera to show blood-flow through the arteries and veins) showed a total blockage in one of my coronary arteries. The cardiologist then told me that my heart looked as though it had been repeatedly damaged for years. Two days later, I had an operation to have a stent (a small wire-mesh tube) fitted to open up the blocked artery. I spent the night in hospital, and went home two days later.
Now, five years later, I’m enjoying a normal life. I don’t do formal exercise, but I’m active and enjoy nothing better than a few hours on the dance floor. I have a healthy diet and take my medication, which consists of aspirin, a statin, a beta-blocker and fish-oil tablets. I also have regular check-ups.

My heart attack put me on a life-changing journey. I followed my passion and set up my own karaoke business, and trained to be an energy healer, too. I now volunteer regularly to raise awareness about issues that can lead to the misdiagnosis of a heart attack.
Like me, many women imagine that crippling chest pain is the main symptom of a heart attack. I want every woman to know that their symptoms might be different (see right), and that if they experience them or feel anything’s wrong, to seek medical help immediately”.          -           September 2014 issue

Friday, August 29, 2014

To All The Women Grieving For Their Loved Ones

I watched as my fellow village women gathered around my mother as she cried her heart out while the pallbearers carried the body of my late sister to the grave site. I said, 'Lord, do you not see this? Has my mother not suffered enough; six of her children now to the earth, plus the husband, does she have to go through this?' And the Spirit of God rebuked me saying, 'Only I know what your mother is able to endure.'

The Spirit spoke to me about a woman in the Bible we can all learn from when it comes to grieving for a loved one. That woman is Mary the mother of Jesus.

She experienced pain at the deepest level we can all imagine. When she gave birth to her little boy Jesus, as per the Hebrew tradition she took him to the Temple for dedication. While the Priest was performing the dedication rites accompanied by the necessary words, he also threw in a very disturbing word, something no mother wants to hear. The Priest said to Mary, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against; (and yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also); that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:34-35

What strong words to say to a young mother who just had her first child! But for Mary this was not the first time that she had been spoken to in such a manner. About two years ago she had been minding her own business when an angel appeared before her and saluted her with these words, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you". Luke 1:28 The Bible goes on to say that Mary was perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of a salutation this was.

But the angel reassured her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end". Luke 1:30-33

Mary was worried about becoming pregnant; because as a virgin betrothed to a young man named Joseph, she was patiently waiting for her wedding day.
This time the angel did not reassure her saying; "Do not worry the baby will come nine months after your wedding night!"
The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the Holy Child shall be called the Son of God". Luke 1:35

I went to Bible College at a late age. At the end of every semester exam I would come out with my head throbbing and blood pressure high. It never got better, even at the end of the very last semester, after four years of studying. Hence I can empathize with Mary. The more she tried to understand her predicament, the more perplexed she became.

But by the grace of God; I succeeded in attaining my Diploma in Pastoral Studies. Mary also overcame her fear and ran to her relative Elizabeth where a miracle was in the making through the birth of John. For the angel had said to Mary, "And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month...For nothing is impossible with God". (Luke 1:26-37)

The Holy Spirit overshadowed her as promised and Mary gave birth to her little boy, Jesus. At the appointed time she took the boy to the Temple for dedication. That is where we meet her today as the story of her life unfolds. With the help of her carpenter husband, Joseph, she raises her son.

Other than working in the carpentry business like his father, Jesus took a keen interest in his Jewish religion and soon became a keen student at the Temple courts. At the age of thirty he became one of the most sought after evangelists. He was a great Teacher and miracles portraying the power of the Holy Spirit were evident.

Many were his teachings, and many people received salvation into the Kingdom of God. Many were also healed from all kinds of diseases and afflictions.
But as this Teacher, Jesus the son of Mary, became more and more popular so did those who opposed his teachings.  His teachings conflicted with their religious values. Their hatred of him grew by the day, until finally they decided to kill him.

So we find the prophecy given to Mary by the Priest Simeon in Luke 2:34-35 coming to fulfillment. Mary's heart was about to be pierced.
They came for Jesus on the night soon after the Passover as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives. They knew he would be there that night as it was his custom to go there and pray.

After seizing him they took him to Pilate for a well rehearsed trial. They found him guilty, even though he was not. He was condemned to die by hanging on a cross. They beat him up, severely, spit on him, mocked him, called him all kind of names and then put a heavy wooden cross on his bruised back and made him carry it Mount of Golgotha.

Where was Jesus' mother while all this happening? At home; unaware of the rubble? Away visiting relatives? No, she was right there in the midst of the mass of onlookers watching her son, the Great Teacher, suffer. With every blow they struck him, Mary's heart was being pierced; her insides were being shredded to pieces. I have seen pictures of lynching on television; they are horrific. Mary had to endure that; but the worst was yet to come.

When they got to Golgotha they laid his body against the cross and drove long heavy nails right through his hands and feet into the cross. Then they lifted him on the cross for the whole community to see; and thus they hung him. Mary was there at his feet, barely able to look up at the tortured frame of her son; the son that God had given her. The son who had performed so many miracles in the short three years he had evangelized the country of Judea. The son who was not just hers and Joseph’s; but who was in reality the Son of God.

He had the power and authority to call down angels to come and stop this horrific torture before him but did not. Everything that was happening had to happen because this was the will of his Father in heaven for him. He had to die for the sins of the world; that we all humanity would be forgiven because of his precious blood shed on the cross at Calvary for us.

Did Mary know this? Probably; but that did not take away the sharpness of the pain she was feeling. So Jesus beckoned her close so he could make eye contact. Then he also called John, the disciple he loved very much. To both he whispered, 'Woman, here is your son and son here is your mother'. John 19:26-27. Why; because John was the closest of the disciples to Jesus. Over the years Jesus had shared his deepest thoughts with his mother and his closest disciple. In that darkest hour he was reassuring them that both would be able to comfort and give each other strength.

Then his crucifiers took a crown of thorns and shoved it on his head, making his head bleed. Then they took a sharp spear and drove it through the side of his belly; both water and blood oozed out. John had to hold Mary tight lest she collapsed at the weight of her son's imminent death. Then Jesus died. Thirty three years of his life on earth as Mary's son had suddenly come to an end.

What would you say about that? If you were Mary where would go with that anguish and pain? To the Cross of Calvary.
God has not spared us from the pain of losing a loved one to death. He did not spare Mary, the mother of His own dear Son. But in whatever He has allowed us to endure, He has also given us strength through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in us.

On our own we are frail and weak, but because of the Holy Spirit in us we are comforted, strengthened and able to stand the storm. The Holy Spirit will reveal the Word of God and give us hope despite the bleakness of our circumstances.

Three days after Jesus was buried, Mary and the other women in Jesus' life went early to the grave site. With spices in their hands what did they expect to find at the tomb? Luke 24. Mary remembered snippets of the conversations she had had with Jesus; that on the third day he would rise from the dead.

Women have had it hard right from child birth. But the same God who is able to sustain the woman through childbirth is also able to sustain her through grief and pain. He will never leave her nor forsake her, for He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:5b, 8)

When we pass through the valley of Baca (Weeping) we make it a spring of Joy. Psalm 84:5-7, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you (Lord), who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion”.
Yes, you can smile even in the midst of grief; especially when God brings a wonderful memory about your loved one. That is how healing begins.

My mother is strong today because she believes in God. She has faith that someday in heaven she will be reunited with her husband and children. He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.(Philippians 1:6)

Woman, your grief and pain does not mark the end of your life. The devil has not won. Trust God and He will give you the peace and strength you did not know was in you. He will keep her in perfect peace she whose mind is steadfast, because she trusts in Him. (Isaiah 26: 3)

Job, at the tragic death of all his children said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)

King David at the illness and death of his son said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live. But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23)

Jesus to Martha and Mary when Lazarus died said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die”. (John 11:25-26) Even though we will die in the flesh our soul will live with Christ eternally.

Finally, we have a promise in Rev 21:3-4 that there will come a time when every tear will be wiped away. ‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

No more tears, no more grief, no more pain. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Effective Fervent Prayer of a Righteous Woman

The Effectual Fervent Prayer of a Righteous Person Availeth Much – James 5:16b (KJV)
‘The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results’. (New Living Translation)

In Philippians 4:6, The Word says that we must petition Heaven with all kinds of prayers. As a child of God, I enjoy coming before my Father earnestly praying for miracles by declaring my righteousness through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

So if one righteous woman can pray effectively and be heard and answered by God enough to produce wonderful results through the power of the Holy Spirit alive and active in her, how much more would be the results of two or more women praying together.

Prayer, effective consistent prayer has great power and produces wonderful results. In Daniel 11:32, we read that ‘the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits’ (KJV). To know the God you worship and to pray to Him attentively has great power and produces wonderful results.

But then, who is righteous? Could it be the Pastor, the Priest, the deacon or the ordinary person sitting in the church pew? Is anyone righteous? The Bible in Romans 3:10 says, ‘No one is righteous, not even one’.

So is the Lord giving us a promise of something which is unattainable? No, absolutely not.
We are made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on the Cross of Calvary. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

When we confess our sins and acknowledge our need of Christ’s saving grace, He cleanses us from all unrighteousness and presents us holy before the Father. (1 John 1:9). Therefore we can enter boldly the Holy of Holies presenting our petitions and prayers before the Father because we have been made righteous by Christ our Savior. (Hebrews 4:16; 9:12; 10:19).

Christ has been made to us our Righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:6b)

We put on that breastplate of righteousness accorded through the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross and His shed blood and enter the most sacred dwelling of God and pray and intercede. And God will hear us and release His great power on our prayers. It is that powerful prayer of a righteous person that will bring about wonderful and exciting results.

There is a book titled, ‘The Village Priest who fought God’s battles’. It is based on the life and ministry of Saint John Mary Vianney, 1786 – 1859. John Vianney was an 18th century Catholic Priest who became popularly known for his ever consistent, humble and deep prayer life, so much that his impoverished (both spiritually and materially) Parish at Ars was transformed to a Village of devout parishioners enough to attract pilgrims from all over Europe.

Note from the Author: “For almost forty years, several thousands of pilgrims flocked to Ars to see and to hear a humble priest in whom they felt the presence of God. Today Ars still continues to be a sanctuary of the Spirit which points out to everyone the authenticity of Christian Life”.

Lessons from our Lord Jesus Christ
When Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, the earth shook with his sobs of agony. The final battle with the devil was won that night. The devil and all his satanic forces were trampled over and defeated as Christ our Savior prayed and interceded for all those who would believe in His Name. (John 17)

  • a)    That eternal life would be given to all who would come to Christ. (v2)
  • b)    That the Father would keep all those who had given themselves to Christ. To be preserved and presented faultless before the Father. And that none be lost. (v11-12)
  • c)     That the joy of the Lord would never be taken away from them and that God’s Word will always remain in them. (v13-14)
  • d)    That the believers be kept safe from the evil one. (v15b). 1 Peter 5:8, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour’.
  • e)    That through the Word they would be kept pure and holy and that the world would not corrupt them. (v17-18)  They were to shun the world and its corruption.
  • f)      That the believers would be entirely God’s people.

Jesus also prayed for those who would come to Him through the testimony of these believers.

§  That they would be one, just as He and the Father are one. Unity – Psalm 133:1, ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity’.
§  That they perfected into one. (v23)
§  To be in Christ and in Christ forever. To dwell in His glory.
§  Christ to be revealed in them.
§  That the Father’s love for Christ would be in them too.

A lot of Christians have the wrong interpretation of prayer. They seem to think that prayers are only for seeking material blessings. Yet the Word of God clearly says that we ought to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…then all these (material blessings) will be added unto us. (Matthew 6: 33)

If any material blessings are thrown in as we pray, give God the glory for His earthly provision for His saints at prayer.

We ought to seek the Kingdom of God by aligning our prayers with His prayers. What Christ desires most is what He prayed about in John 17.
These are the prayers of a righteous person; prayers which avail much, prayers which have power and produce wonderful results.
When we pray like this, we bring the devil down to his knees. ‘We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony’ (Revelation 12:11)

Souls are worn to heaven; the weak are strengthened, the sick are healed and the bound are delivered. James 5:15

To be righteous is to be like Christ. To pray powerful prayers, with wonderful results is to pray like Christ did, taking His heart’s desires as ours. Amen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sometimes We Do Not Pray Enough

“Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, camels were coming. Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel”. Genesis 24:63-64

When we take the time to pray, deeply and fervently, God will lift up our eyes to see a future we had never dreamed possible. The problem with most people is in thinking that there is nothing more to be gained or desired for in this life, so they focus their prayers on the obvious only. There are things that God will reveal to us when we take the time to be alone with Him in prayer out in the field. It is quiet, peaceful and our heart is able to tune in to God’s Spirit within us. The answer to prayer comes first in our heart and then it is revealed for our eyes to see.

Isaac and Rebekah’s story is a story of two strangers meeting for the first time and falling in love. God ordained this meeting; He had it all worked out from the first day the servant left Abraham’s tent with the instruction to get a wife for Isaac.

When we pray fervently and deeply, the Holy Spirit arises at God’s command and moves around situations and creates favorable scenarios for us which were beyond our dreams. The God we pray to is the God who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to His power that works within us.  (Refer Ephesians 3:20).

If we would copy Abraham, our Father in the example of faith in God. He trusted God for a child even at 99 years of age; this was God’s appointed time for him. (Genesis 21). As if this was not enough to stretch Abraham’s faith, God asked him to sacrifice that ‘long awaited for’ child at Mount Moriah. We should never stop praying in faith to the God who wants to do more in our lives than we have achieved already. We should not allow age, resources or ability to limit the works of God in our life. Noah conversed with God and built an ark while everyone else mocked him, yet through that act of faith he saved his whole family and generation.

There are many examples in the Bible of men and women who prayed fervently to God and were rewarded with more than they anticipated in life. So go on, and pray!

Maybe you have never heard of this God who is able and willing to do more in your life than you ever anticipated. Call on His Son Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”.
God is able and willing to make a way for you where there is no way. He is able and willing to give you a future where all hope had been lost. He has the ability to create unforeseen opportunities, to heal broken bodies, restore broken relationships, create jobs in an unfavorable economy, and much much more. Amen.

Friday, May 30, 2014

My Beloved Emily Elizabeth

Barely three weeks have passed since my young sister Emily Elizabeth passed away.

Tears have not come easy for me; the pain is just too much for me to bear alone. I grieved at her funeral, but then God took all that sorrow and grief and hid it in His Cross. That is the only sensible way I can explain how I am processing my grief. Everything seems buried deep inside me and all I can feel is a numbness I cannot even explain. But God is carrying me; that much I have assurance of.

When my brother Mike passed away in June 1991 I grieved for months. Every time I thought of him I would burst out crying, even while walking down the street. He was my big brother and it was like someone had chopped off the covering of my head. I lost direction and I could not be comforted. During his time of illness I had prayed and fasted so hard I was sure he would be healed. But the finality was that I lost him to the hepatitis virus which ran through his liver so fast that within six months he had died.
I lost to that dreadful poison in his body but through prayer and sharing God's Word with him I won his soul for Jesus. The enemy caught up with him but not before God sent his emissaries to lead him to the Cross. The enemy sent his servants to slay him but God had already planned an eternity with him.

After Mike I lost five more family members to different kinds of illnesses. God knows why we as a family have to grieve so much; but the comforting truth is that not a tear drops to the ground from our eyes without Him shading a few more of His. Remember Jesus wept as Mary and Martha wept for their brother Lazarus. 

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”
They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
John 11:32-36

It is so annoying to listen to the hypocritical sympathies of some relatives when they speculate on what kind of sin my mother committed that would be causing the death of her children. Jesus had an answer for his disciples when they speculated on what sin caused the man to be born blind.
‘As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him’.
John 9:1-3

Now Liz is gone, and the speculation continues, even from relatives whom we thought were mature born again Christians. Sometimes what we profess to be is overtaken by what we become when we think we can score a grudge by striking with hurtful words at a person in their moment of weakness. It is even more pathetic when this is done to a grieving person. In the Bible we are warned against taking advantage of someone in their weak state. We are instead told to comfort those who mourn and strengthen the feeble hands. One has to be an extra special case of a coward to lash out bitter words at a grieving person.

At Liz's funeral I was actually told indirectly that I was the ugly big sister who stepped on people's toes unlike Liz who was good natured and easy going. I almost retorted that I was the Martha in the kitchen while she was the Mary taking it easy at the Lord's feet. Then the Lord caught my thought and reminded me about what I was up against; the enemy using his servants, again, to destroy the wonderful relationship that Liz and I shared since she graduated from Teacher training.

She was now an adult and since I was six years her senior I immediately became her mentor and friend. The three sisters older than her and younger than me never finished High School and ended up marrying early. So Liz and I had a kin spirit, having made it to High School and training in careers. That was how we came to bond; not as special but just different from the other sisters. We were the career girls of the family!

So it became normal for Elizabeth to spend her school holidays with me. This practice continued into her married life such that she would seek permission from her husband to come with her two little boys to Harare to spent school holidays with big sister. She and her police officer husband were based in Bulawayo at that time.

Finally the couple were both transferred to Harare and Liz and I practically spent all weekends together. That was how we also became members of the same church. One Sunday we were walking home from church and we were each holding the hand of Liz's little boy. As we approached a pole both of us assumed that the other would let go of his hand. That did not happen and we actually walked the poor child straight into the pole! If it was the days of cellphones someone would have taken a photo and put it on Facebook to show how stupid some parents could be.

But for Liz and I, it was not the stupidity we were worried about. We shared such a strong bond between us and our children such that they felt comfortable in either one's company. That was why either one of us did not let go of the child - he got hurt from the expression of too much love.

Some sisters' relationships are destroyed by infidelity; whereby one sister would not hesitate to jump into bed with her sister's husband. Liz helped look after my children during her school holidays as a single young woman. An opportunity presented itself one night while I was hospitalized. My then husband went on to make advances towards her night after night, to which she flatly refused him. She told me herself soon after I came home from hospital and to this day I thank her for her integrity. In our Shona culture some weak women even go the extent of having children by their sisters' husbands. God spared me from having to deal with the resultant anger and bitterness.

What Liz and I shared was very special. We were bonded by sisterly love and togetherness. It is no mystery to me that God chose that she slips away in the comfort of my home surrounded by family members rather than in the coldness of a hospital bed, not that there would be anything wrong with that. In Romans 8:38-39 we read that: ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’

The love that Liz and I shared can never be broken by death. She was a part of me and will always be a part of me till we are reunited at the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am so privileged and honored to have been given a young sister like Elizabeth. She brought joy and fulfillment in my life. She may be gone in person by her spirit will always be with me. That is why I will not continue to grieve; she has just crossed over to the other side where she is now free from pain.

Thank you Lord for my life, for Emily Elizabeth's life and for intertwining us so meticulously. I salute You. May her soul rest in peace. Farewell farewell sweet angel of mine.

My challenge for you
Liz was diagnosed of cervical cancer while it was already at an advanced stage. Before that Liz was a very energetic, vibrant and active person. At her school she was also a sports instructor and she led many students through various sporting achievements. A year ago no one would have foreseen the pain and suffering she would have had to go through as the cancer took its toll on her once strong, vibrant and energetic body. But God knew. With each passing day He saw her getting weaker and delirious from the pain she had to endure. Finally, she began to cry out to Him to take her home. God heard her cries and on a Tuesday morning on the 6th of May 2014, just a month away from her 50th birthday God took her to her eternal home.

If you were to be diagnosed of a horrible disease today would you have the assurance in your heart to know that no matter the outcome God would come through for you? Jesus has given us victory over death. He says. 'I will never leave you nor forsake you', Hebrews 13:5 and ‘Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest’, Matthew 11:28

If you need someone to talk to please do not hesitate to email me on the email address below.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I Have Something Better For You

I just read a tweet which said that ‘God only gives three answers to prayer – Yes, Not yet, and I have something better in mind’.

I prefer the ‘Yes’ answer to the ‘Not yet’. I find not yet hard to stomach and it usually leads me to more prayer, fasting and a search into more of God’s promises. But that definitely has wonderful results as concerned to my spiritual growth! That amount of digging, searching and praying makes me grow spiritually.

The ‘Yes’ answer is my favorite. It is quick, easy and drives me to ask for more and some more. I do not pray much in this area because the answer comes soon enough. No struggles here and obviously hardly any spiritual growth either. Needless to say, most of the prayers answered in this window are usually small and insignificant. If they are big at all, they are usually few in number.

But then comes the answer I prefer not to have at all – the ‘wait, I have something better or different in mind’. I prefer to pray for what I see, feel or think. That God may see things differently or see into my future is not really my favorite thought. Yet, this ought to be the most exciting revelation ever!  God sees all my coming in and my going out. He knows my every thought. He knows every prayer that I pray even before I pray it. He knows what is best for me because He sees and knows everything, including that which is hidden from my limited vision and knowledge.

God can even turn around a situation for our own good, if only we would learn to trust Him and wait. At the beginning of the year the company I work for opened up a loan facility for us to buy personal vehicles. I spotted my dream car and it was within the loan amount I qualified for. Then something happened which led to the freezing of the loans. I was very disappointed, but what could do but to wait! Two and half months later the loans were unfreezed.

I began a new search for a vehicle, but somehow I could not find one that matched the one I had found in January. Finally I checked in my diary for the contact details of that seller, found him and asked if he had a vehicle for sale available. He told me that he had not found a buyer for the same vehicle I had ‘lost’ in January. God had kept that vehicle for me for two and half months and not only that, but the price had also been slashed by a whooping US$800.00! Beginning of the year the economy was positive, but now it has become quiet leading to price instability.

I still do not like the ‘wait’ answer or the ‘not yet’ but I would rather pray and wait for God’s best than settle for the small and insignificant.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139:1-12

Thursday, February 27, 2014

God's Choice of Wine

The blessings of God cost you nothing; just your obedience, faith and trust.

I was struggling with an illness that would not go away. I had been to doctors, spirit mediums and faith healers, with no success. Now here I was again at the door of one other faith healer. But as I walked into her house I noticed that there was something different from the other houses I had been to.
Firstly, she didn’t draw me into an inner, spooky room filled with strange looking objects. Instead she motioned me to sit on the sofa and quietly left the room. In a short while she returned, followed by a teenage girl carrying a tray of tea and cookies. ‘Strange’, I uttered silently to myself. I explained that I was not well and a woman I met at the shopping centre had given me her address.

She said she understood, got up and took her bible which was by the television stand. She opened it and read from a passage which I had no idea what it was talking about.

Isaiah 55:1-2 (NLT)
Invitation to the Lord’s Salvation
 “Is anyone thirsty?
Come and drink—
even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
it’s all free!
2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
You will enjoy the finest food.

It has been about thirty three years now since that encounter with God. There had been other encounters before, but this was different in that the word of God was actually read to me. I enjoyed that good Christian lady’s hospitality. She even prayed for me.

But as I left her house I couldn’t help feeling frustrated. I was hoping to buy some sort of herb, special oil or water to cure my ailment. But all she did was read from her bible. I failed to appreciate what I now do of the power of God’s word. My heart was still closed to God. But I thank God for the Holy Spirit, who even while we are still ‘dead’ because of our sin, reaches out to us and makes us alive to God through the Word.

I would go to that woman’s house and thank her for her faithfulness in sharing the Word of God but I have no recollection of her address. Maybe you are like me then, feeling frustrated because you think the Word being read to you is of no use. The Holy Spirit is at work in you to heal and restore and give a life of abundance in Christ. Or maybe you are one who is reading the Word to an unbeliever and thinking it to be hopeless as you see no results. God says that His Word will not return to Him void without accomplishing what He has purposed it to do. Reference Isaiah 55:11

God bless