To Know Right

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.(James 4:17 KJV)

Have you ever heard the correct version of a story but just simply didn’t feel like believing it? Or maybe you believed but just preferred the version you knew?

If you’re anything like me, you probably have. See, I like happy endings and positive views. If a story isn’t going the way I think it should, I stop listening/reading. I stick with what I know loving the bliss of ignorance.

But there comes a point in life when we all have to face reality and accept life as it exists. We must accept the facts of life. We cannot always pretend that our way is correct.

Yet, at times we do. Take for example the text above. We oft do the things we know we should not do; thinking that the faithfulness of God will forgive us. I can’t count the number of times I heard persons say… “You can repent when you’re finished.” 

We take for granted the grace bestowed upon us, choosing instead to pretend that the sins we commit, or the little slights, will be over looked. But at what cost do we pretend to live in ignorance. To him that knoweth right…

I grew up knowing right from wrong. or mostly knowing right from wrong. Since then however, a few grey areas have been become clear black or white. Yet I find that there are times when I want to forget the right I know simply because I want to be like everybody else, or because I want to do things my way. Then the thought occurs that I know better. If God were to ask why I did what I did, ignorance could not be a defense. 

We who have light must live in light lest we be held accountable for living in darkness. 

On the same point, the church I grew up in professes to have the greater light, yet I have watched as many of its members and leaders make compromises to better suit their own purposes. Again I ask… At what cost? We make silly excuses for our actions thinking instead that if others… then…

But…The judgement of those who know the truth of God’s word will be far more stringent (strict), than for those who do not have a clear understanding of the word of God. 

You must be mindful that you, we, do not adjust the laws of God for personal gain. What sorrow will be ours if we do.

P.S. Fyah deh a mus mus tail…

The Forgotten Coin

Have you ever put money away and forgot about it? I bet that when you came across it you paused to try and remember how and when you placed it there, or if you even did. It’s happened to me a few dozen times. It always shows up just when you need it though, doesn’t it?

By now you have figured out that I love writing. True, I’m not exactly ready for publication just yet with all the errors I make and my self-diagnosed dyslexia, but I love it none the less.

I’ve been writing since 3rd form, or grade 9 as some refer to it; making up poems and stories as I explored the avenues of imagination. In recent times, just prior to blogging, I began to express the inner workings of my mind through analogies and creative writing. I would sit up at past midnight in front of my computer and just let the thoughts flow out through my finger tips.

Emotional strain can result in the best or worst work, dependent on the purpose of a piece. Never become emotionally involved in academic or journalist writing. However, poetry, persuasion, narratives and creative pieces build off the writers emotion which can result in something beautiful. Those long nights of writing or seldom days spent in thought-expression have turn out to now be a blessing to me.

Often I take up a piece I forgot I had written, or whose content I had forgotten and I find myself thinking, “Did I really write that?” You must be wondering what of the contents usually surprise me. Well, the pieces oft appear just when I need those words of inspiration of that reminder. I then think, “God, did you make me write that so I could find it now?”

Just like a lost coin or bill, it appears just the time I need it most. This past Christmas, I was flipping though a notebook I had written a sermon in a few years back. At the time I was a little depressed because I didn’t feel very loved. In that old book I found a strange abbreviation that I couldn’t recall the significance of.There in the sermon appeal, in every  line were the letters BILY. Inspecting the sermon more closely I soon realized that the letters represented the title of the sermon which I couldn’t be bothered to write over and over again. BILY- But I Love You. That all it meant. Four little words written years ago by me forgotten until the moment I might I needed them most. Just like a “lost” coin.

God often gives us lessons today that he wants us have when we need them most. Every wonder why the AY law says to “Keep the Morning Watch” and :”Keep a song in my heart”? You are storing up coins for a later date, coins you may forget until you need them most. It’s OK to lose a dollar in your house/wallet/bag; maybe you’ll find it just when you need it most.

P.S. BILY-Alana

Voooossshhhh!!!

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.Matthew 16:24

As a child I wished for telekinetic powers, just like Jean Grey in X-men. Yes, I wanted to fly, move things with my mind and have the power of telepathy ( that means communicating through thoughts). Who wouldn’t want those awesome powers.

Of late however, I find myself wishing for just one superpower. The ability to just disappear at will. Just like magic. I find myself thinking “If I could just get away, everything would be better.” I wouldn’t have to feel like an outsider at home ( not my actual family home), I wouldn’t have to be the weirdo among my friends, I wouldn’t have to be wondering all the time if people liked me for me. I’d be somewhere where I could hide from the world for awhile, just me and God, doing the things I love.

I’ve thought about it so often. Some days it’s the only escape from my reality. Then I realized(and yes I realize alot of things,I have lots of free time to think), that running or disappear, while they might seem like the best solution, are not the answers to my problem.

I oft think of Jesus, and how strange he might felt among his own people. How often he felt like a stranger at home. He was mocked and jeered and taunted. There might have been days he wanted to disappear too. Yet, for me and you he stuck it out, to save a people who didn’t deserve it. To be a friend to persons who would betray him. To help persons who just wanted the benefits of knowing him. He actually had the power to disappear, but he didn’t.

I question at times what possible lesson could God be teaching me this time. I ask myself if it is really worth it all. Being a Christian, worse a Christian like me( having the beliefs I do), then throw in my unusual personality, makes being accepted in many circles very difficult. But, seeing as Christ’s life was an example to us all, I have a job to do. I have to shake off the negative, accept the complexity of my chosen path and live a life that bares witness of my dear Saviour.

The Christian journey is not an easy one and sometimes even fellow Christians make it harder. But, God promises to be with us each step of the way. So though road gets rough, and you seem to stand alone, Christ is there with you. Don’t try to disappear just yet. The faithful make it to the end.

P.S. No magic tricks today

The Frosted Glass

Have you ever tried looking through a frosted glass? You don’t see much but if you’re like me, you refuse to admit it and choose instead to make sense out of the blurred shapes you see. Then the image clears and you realize all that you missed.

Happy New Year everyone! I know it’s mid-January, but I put off writing over the past few weeks for fear my emotions might have exploded all over my blog. Truth is, the last few weeks have been tough. My eyes were opened to things I never wish to see. My glass was defrosted, and to honest a part of me wishes it would fog back up and I could return to my state of ignorance. The old cliche is most correct indeed. Ignorance is bliss.

I’ve been so focused on what was revealed beyond the glass that I lost sight of everything else.  These revelations and new knowledge consumed my every waking moment and even some of my dreams. I felt so betrayed by lack of the beauty I was expecting, that cynicism, pessimism and hatred began to form plague deposits on my heart. Knowing right and doing right became the hardest task. I got caught up in my bitterness, blaming the world for the pain I felt and hiding myself away to lick my wounds.

Over the last few days I’ve had a chance to reflect on my actions and reactions. I didn’t like the girl I saw. I didn’t like the hopelessness I felt. I realized that Satan must be having quite a field day at my reaction to what was beyond the glass. he had me caught. Instead of using my new insight as a good lesson I allowed depression and self-pity to take control. While I was focusing on what was behind one glass, he was frosting another, blocking the rays of hope from my life.

It is rather funny how instead of leaning on the hope God gives us in word,we often focus so much on our problems that we let Satan win. I’ve done it so many times that it’s probably reflex, but as mush as I am hurting still, I beginning to see the light rays that have begun to defrost my glass of depression and self-pity.

I take with me the promises offered in the words of God. ” For I know the thoughts that I think towards you…” Jer. 11: 29. “Hold on my child, Joy comes in the morning.” “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart”…Prov.3:6. And a song that has become a favourite of mine.

Maybe you have days like mine, or weeks , even months, maybe it’s been a few years. But though it’s hard I have faith that we can see passed the frosted glass. Whatever glass is in your life will be defrosted. Instead of being disappointed by what you see, look for the rays of sunshine that will clear your dark clouds away

P.S. Just one more valley, one more hill.

Alana Ali

1 Blessing, 2 Blessing, 3 Blessing, 4…

Today I began the 1st day of my 23rd year. Yep, my math is correct. That makes me 22 years old.

My week started with a pity party. I felt sorry for myself, pushing myself deeper into a pit of self-pity and depression. I wanted to disappear. Then i remembered something, I am blessed.

I thought about the share a meal project I had in mind for the end of the week and those who would benefit. It was that thought that reminded me that though I don’t have the prefect life I am blessed. You see, despite the problems I’ve had all year, the trials I’ve had to overcome, the disappearance of old friends and the fact that I cried myself to sleep last night because my world seemed to be crashing down, I still have much to be thankful for.

  1. I have a Heavenly Father who promises to never leave me nor forsake me. Who is always by my side, who has fixed even the troubles I have yet to see.
  2. I have a Mom and a Dad who sacrifice their last to make sure their children have.
  3. I have siblings who get on my last nerves but who always come through when I need them.
  4. I have family that show up in the most unexpected way just when I need a helping hand.
  5. I have friends who know when I need a shoulder to cry on, or just a laugh, even though they may not always be available.
  6. I have a church family that never fails to reminding me that they are praying for me.
  7. I have a new family (#32seconds), some of the craziest people I know, who take on my over the top ideas and help me bring blessings to others.
  8. I have food, clothing, shelter, and a Kitti ( Everyone needs one of these, you’ll never stop laughing).
  9. I am blessed with the ability to minister to others through my imagination
  10. And most importantly, I HAVE LIFE.

It doesn’t always turn out as planned. I don’t always have a good day. But when at each moment I realize I still have the opportunity to repent of my sins and to tell someone about salvation, I must acknowledge the fact that I am Blessed.

I’ve seen the suffering of those around me, not just the less fortunate, but also my friends who go through their various circumstances. I cannot then pause for a moment of complaint. This November 11, I just wanna be thankful. I just wanna be able to say “Thank you Lord. I don’t know what I have done to deserve your blessings and grace but thank you. Thank you for loving me. I love you. Alana.”

I know it’s my birthday, but count your blessings. Remember, once there is life there is hope. God has big plans for you. No matter how bad things seem, He promises that better is yet to come.

P.S. I’m finally 22. meal

 

Mouth, Teeth and Tongue Seh…

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3: 8 KJV

In primary school when someone came to you and said “Mouth, teeth and tongue seh…” you knew something bad was coming next. But in typical human fashion, curiosity takes over and you want to hear the rest anyway. Sometimes, truth be told, you would have told someone else what you just heard without checking if were true. The sad thing was that the subject of the conversation happening inside the oral cavity, was usually your friend. Looking back now, do you ever wonder why some of your friends from then aren’t friends with you now?

It is sad to say that the “game” doesn’t end at primary school. We have a dumb habit of playing it through life. Over the past few months I’ve been subject to some unsavoury stories I’d rather I hadn’t heard. Unfortunately I can’t live in blissful ignorance forever and rumors must end somewhere.

We often don’t consider that the unfounded nonsense we spew out of our mouths will be of harm. However, the opposite is also true. We do consider the damage we’ll do and bask in the results of our deceit. Another sad truth is that the oral cavity conversations occur among the “converted.”

I wonder if the apostle James saw the future. Did he look through time and see the hurt we’d cause with our tongues? I cannot conceptualize that after so many centuries humans still practice this style of torture. ME: “DISAPPOINTED” We use our tongues to stab friends in the back, take vengeance on our enemy and cause  others to lose their lives. James knew what he was talking about when he wrote of how deadly a weapon the tongue was. The time we spend in Oral cavity conversations would be more beneficial as moments for witnessing of God’s love and grace.Watch what you say…Think before you talk…SHUT UP  if you have nothing good to say.

P.S. ” Sticks and stones…” is one of the world’s biggest lies.

The Convenience Store God

Ever had that friend that only calls you when they need some thing. I mean, the moment you see their caller ID you know they want something. Bear in mind they’re never there when you need them, they pretend they don’t see you when you go out and they never wish you happy birthday even though it all over Facebook.

Maybe you don’t have any of those, but I have tons. I come to accept that maybe I was meant be a convenience store friend. You see, most of my “friendship” really are like convenience stores, you only go in when you need something and you never stay longer than it takes to get it. I actually don’t mind it anymore. I’ve come to realize that just being there when someone needs you, even though they may never return a favour is OK. Maybe you can be a witness in their lives.

What point am I trying to make from my sucky life? Stop for a minute and think… Who do we often treat like a convenience store? That’s right…God. We often wait until we’re in a pinch or worst, a pit we can’t get out of to ask for his help and guidance. As soon as he comes to our aid we forget about him and move right on with our lives.

I read a hilarious poem once about a farmer who got stuck in the snow and prayed for help. He dies unfortunately and when he gets to heaven he asked Peter why God didn’t send him help. Peter then proceeds to tell him them God did send help but he hadn’t prayed so long that God didn’t recognize his voice and sent him to a whole other state.

It’s not an accurate depiction of how God works but you get the point. Think for a moment, what if this was really how God operated, would he be able to find you when he sent help? Would he recognize your voice? How long has it been since you talked with the Lord? Is he a Convenience store to you or the place you must go everyday. Do you feel guilty and torn up inside if you miss your morning worship or your bedtime prayer?

Think…!!!

Is he just a Convenience store God?

P.S. We often lose that which we don’t use.