STOP AND THINK

I have been kind of low lately. I have been coping with losing a friend who happens to be family; with having no money for my subscription, with having no inspiration or desire to write, with waiting and praying for a miracle to happen, with even finding it difficult to pray at times, dealing with sin, my fallen state and my own human nature and inherent weakness.

I thought I had it real bad; fate must be dealing me a heavy hand. I decided to go online and read some inspirational stories, anything to boost my morale and lift up my spirits (there are really so many stories to read). Surely, my spirit was lifted, tears ran freely down my face, but it got me thinking and gave me something to write.

You think you have it bad but then someone somewhere has it worse. You think life is not fair but you are breathing without the aid of a machine but someone else has to be on life support because he or she cannot perform that seemingly easy task. We often take all the numerous blessings God has lavished on us for granted. You are not fighting cancer or dealing with a terminal illness and yet because you do not have money in your pocket you think the world or GOD is not treating you right.

I have food to eat, a place to rest my head. I had the opportunity to go to school in relative peace and tranquility, I do not think I have had to go without food or water for a day but most people never get the chance yet I sit and feel sorry for myself but then I forget that God has blessed me with a talent. We are often lured into thinking that our life situations are at its worst because things are not going the way we want it to go or because we do not get what we want but we forget that there are those who do not have the barest necessities of life.

I remember this poem from school and it says; “some have food but cannot, some can eat but have no food. We have food and we can eat, Thanks and Glory be to God Amen.” Instead of wallowing in self-pity and thinking of all the things, you do not have, why not thank God for all you have and more. Why not appreciate the fact that you are alive and healthy? Why not treat each day you have been given, as a special moment for every day you are alive is a special occasion? Why not mend the bridges of friendship before it is too late (I read somewhere that you should never leave your loved ones without loving words because it might be the last time you saw them)? Why not make every moment of your life count? Why not be the best you can be and let your light forth in a world with darkness?

We think we have so little to give but then if you cannot give out of the little that you have been given, what is the assurance that you will give out of your abundance. My friend left me with these words: “ Make Heaven, whatever you do, do not miss heaven and if you trust God He will never let you go.” He is gone from this world from a terminal illness and I pray He is in the arms of God now. He was a living testimony to the fact that no matter the odds life throws in your way; you should never give up. That life will not be easy is a foregone conclusion but that once there is life there is hope is something we should always remember. Life is a continuous battle and God will not leave us without the tools necessary to fight those battles.

I remember these words: ‘I shall only pass this way but once. Therefore any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, let me not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.’ You have but one life to live, you will not be back again so be the reason someone looks at life with a renewed sense of hope; the reason someone smiles and is ready to face a new day. Stop the self-pity and derision. You are worth more than the birds of the air and the fishes of the rivers. Touch lives wherever you can; it can be as little as the words you say or the little acts of kindness that you do. Preach Christ through your actions remember they say actions speak louder than words.

Face life with courage. Live each day as if it were your last. Do not procrastinate. Do what is right. Sing, laugh, live, love, smile and be happy. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second is truly a gift from God; treasure that gift.

Hope it got you to STOP AND THINK, and not just thinking but it made you see life in a whole new light.

 

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IF ONLY WE PRAY

Its been a long time I posted any thing on this blog, so here is one for you to enjoy.

There is no doubt as to the efficacy of prayer. Prayer is a two-way communication network; we talk and God listens and we listen while God talks (but most of us only talk to God, we fail to listen to Him). It is said that a prayer-less Christian is a power-less Christian.

Prayer is the key that opens every door. When I was growing up, I learnt that prayer is the raising up of our hearts and minds to God. Philippians 4:6-7 enjoins us not to worry about everything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need with a thankful heart (emphasis on the word thankful, God requires that when we pray we do so with thanksgiving. Most of us myself included do not remember to thank God for all His blessings on us, we are rather in a hurry to remind Him of all the things He owes us and what He should do for us) and God’s peace which is far beyond understanding , will keep your hearts and minds with Christ Jesus (prayer brings the peace of God down on us, it gives us the ability not to worry and trust that God is not man that He should go back on His words, He says Heaven and earth may pass away but His words will not return to Him unfulfilled).

Another aspect of prayer is faith. The bible in Hebrews 11 vs. 1 to 2 says that to have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for; to be certain of the things we cannot see. It was by faith that people of ancient times won God’s approval. Faith requires that we believe even when it is beyond human reasoning to do so. It requires absolute trust in the loving mercy of our God. One other important thing about prayer is persistence, persistence in prayer tells God that your needs are important and that He is the only One that you have that can answer you. The acronym PUSH says we should Pray Until Something Happens (doesn’t it scream persistence). Remember the story of the judge and the widow in Luke 18 where the judge agreed to grant her rights because she persisted. God needs us to depend utterly on Him; there is no need to run from pillar to post asking one brother or sister to pray for you, how many times have you actually prayed. How many times despite the fact that it seems like your prayers are not being answered do you persist or do you give up and like Job’s friends advised him to do; curse God and die.

We often remember to pray only when life deals us a heavy blow. We use God as a spare tire. He only comes out in emergencies when one of the others goes flat. Our tendency is to rely on God only when we run out of other options. God should not be our last option; He should be there from the very start. St Augustine said; ‘work as if all things depended on you; pray as if all things depended on God’ And St Ignatius said that work as if all things depended on God and pray as if all things depended on you. Whichever one you like can work for you. The latter saying enjoins us to not to work in a frantic, controlling way but work diligently but peacefully and not be afraid to rest when it’s time to rest since all are works are naught if God does not have a hand in it. At the end of the day, the two sayings come to one conclusion: “work and pray.”

I like this P.R.A.I.S.E pattern for prayer.

P stands for PRAISE—before we ask God for anything, we need to show clearly Him gratitude for the ones He has already done for us.

R stands for REPENTANCE— if we hide our sins in our heart, he will not hear us. (Psalm 66: 18) He says a broken and contrite heart; He will not turn away.

A stands for ASK— James tells us that we do not receive because we have not asked. God knows all we need before we ask but He says we should ask and we shall receive.

I stands for INTERCEDE— it is not enough to ask God for what we need, it is important that we intercede for others.

S stands for SPEAK THE WORD— it is time to speak God’s words over our lives and circumstances. Make time to speak God’s word when praying.

E stands for ENJOY HIS PRESENCE— after thanking, repenting, asking, interceding and speaking the word, it is now time to enjoy his presence. There is full joy in His presence.

There is tremendous power in praying. He who can kneel before God can stand before any one. Pray, pray and pray. Pray as constantly as you breathe and you will see the hand of God clearly working in your life.

Say no to insurgency and Yes to a peaceful Nigeria. Please share and drop our comments. God bless you all.

 

 

 

 

 

DEAR YOU

This ia a heartfelt letter of apology to you- yes you in particular. I have been away for longer than i planned due to circumstances beyond my control. I have missed blogging but most importantly i have missed you all my esteemed readers.

I do hope you forgive me and yes i promise to be back fully by december praying that God keeps us all alive till then. Thanks for being with me since the start of this blog five months ago. On a lighter note, Nigeria has been declared Ebola free but still be careful and it was my birthday this month so Happy Birthday to me. Say no to insurgency and yes to a peaceful Nigeria. Stay safe. Please do not forget to share and drop a comment and finally finally after all the wahala I have undergone and the ones I am still undergoing I will be going to serve my fatherland by November God-willing. God bless you all.

yours,

Helenchels.