Thursday, 29 October 2009

A Case of the Ex

He sent an email to the address known only to us both. It read,

'My darling, how do you do today? I am hoping you will check this inbox soon because I just had to share the thoughts in my heart with you. The truth is I miss you and still think about you all the time. I miss our easy conversations and the difficult ones too. I miss the way you used to laugh and ask whether the red or the brown suited better when I knew you really wanted to wear the brown (as usual if I may add!). I remember fondly the unexpected calls in the middle of the day just to say how much you love me and the peace and warmth that filled you when I said "right back at you". We used to find things to talk about all the time, you spoke to me first thing in the morning and I remember your incoherent words as sleep and conversation debated at the end of the day. It didn't matter because I knew your heart was in the right place.

I remember how eagerly you read the words I had penned for you, words that encouraged you and built you up, words that made you understand what you were worth to me, that I loved you so much and was willing to make the Ultimate sacrifice just to be with you. I miss the tears that used to fill your eyes when you were overcome with the knowledge about how much I loved you and the difference I had made since you accepted my request to be in your life. I miss the way you used to ask for my input before you made major decisions in your life and how you used to roll your eyes when we talked sometimes because you knew that I was ALWAYS right even when it didn't seem so and wished secretly I could be wrong even once! It made me laugh so much.

I remember when it started going pear shaped, too many busy signals on your end, you hanging out with your new 'group' who didn't have any value or respect for our relationship and said I made you too 'old fashioned'. I watched sadly as you began to drift away from me and our love to satisfy your thirst for 'knowledge', what were your words again.."this love is too restrictive, I'm young and beautiful, I want to spread my wings and fly". I saw you entertain compromise as fitting in became more important than loving me. I saw you change and dance with the enemy. My words became of no consequence as you chased after your 'toys'. I'm sometimes amazed at how much you don't realize how much I know you, even better than you know yourself. I see you cry yourself to sleep at night as you realize that nothing fills the void like I used to. That what looks and felt so good in the security of the darkness fills you with a shame like you never knew when the light comes up. I've seen you drift from place to place looking for love in all the wrong places and hold myself back from shaking some sense into you! Can I be honest, I get so jealous when I see others selfishly use you for I see the damage they cause. Baby, I can't force you to love me, the choice to love is the greatest gift of all. For forced love is not love at all but we are secure in love because we have been chosen.

I noticed that in recent times you have been going through our 'love box', the one you keep in your room, filled with the mementos of our relationship. I saw you dust the book I wrote the letters in and find cold comfort in some of the words. I saw you wrestle with the 'then' we had and the 'now' you have. I had to restrain myself from jumping in right there and then because I know it is up to you to come back to me. If only you had been really looking you would know that I had been very much around, neither my number or address had changed, I was there on the train, outside the door, I was there all the time just waiting patiently in line for you to notice but I guess you were too busy enjoying your 'freedom'. Don't get me wrong, please do not feel condemned, that was and isn't my intention, the point I just want to make is.....I miss you and beyond that I love you, I always have and I always will, I can't stop and the past makes no difference, if you're willing to come back, I'm here but if you choose to come back, as selfish as this sounds, it has to be on my terms because deep down you know I know best.

Baby, my heart is open and my hands are open, when are you coming back home?

Your Ex (not for long I hope), earnestly expecting a reply


....As it has been said, TODAY if your hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.. Hebrews 3:7b-8a

The Lord appeared to us in the past saying: "I have LOVED you with an EVERLASTING love; I have drawn you with LOVING-KINDNESS Jeremiah 31:3

I woke up at about 4 am with this in my heart, it's so strange and I just had to write it there and then. I don't know who this is for but if it's you, don't wait, please hit the REPLY button in your heart and go home, like the Father of the prodigal, you'll see He has been waiting and His heart is open. Gotta get a lil' more sleep now!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Training to be godly.

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly 1st Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! 1st Timothy 4:7 (The Message)

Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare*

In recent times, I have found myself in a season of reflection, thinking critically about the way things are and whether they match up with the way things should be. I smile as I look back on positive changes in my life over the past year and meditate on how life is more like a marathon than a sprint; 'I want to be like Jesus and I want it NOW!!' used to be me. Life is a marathon and not a sprint, developing the fruit of the Spirit and a Christ like character is a life-long process, to consistently bear fruit worthy of one's calling, we must be willing to go through the seasons with Christ. It was in this frame of mind that I found myself talking to God about how I would like to improve on the quality and quantity of my quiet time. I was giving my excuses until I sensed the Holy Spirit remind me of the passage above "train yourself to be godly".

'He/she has no home training' is a retort describing individuals who by their actions show (at least in the mind of the speaker) that some of the basic elements of having grown up in a home under the supervision of one or two parents appear to be lacking. Training is not however, limited to the young, when we start a new job we are trained so we know what to do, how to do it even though sometimes we don't know why we are doing it!

Some definitions for the word train are (
:to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction: to train an unruly boy.
:to make proficient by instruction and practice, as in some art, profession, or work: to train soldiers.
:to make (a person) fit by proper exercise, diet, practice, etc., as for an athletic performance.
:to treat or manipulate so as to bring into some desired form, position, direction, etc.: to train one's hair to stay down.
:Horticulture. to bring (a plant, branch, etc.) into a particular shape or position, by bending, pruning, or the like.

I love the first definition, developing new habits by INSTRUCTION and DISCIPLINE. We cannot be trained without acquiring new knowledge, we are instructed in what to do, a trainer lets us know how many push ups or sit ups are required for us to achieve our fitness goals. God has given us Himself and the scripture, His word says that He has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. From my own personal experience, usually there are little issues with instruction but with discipline. I know what I should do but I don't do it. Newton's first law can be simply put as, nothings' gonna change in my life until I change, change requires discipline especially when it's for my own good.

There can be no training without discipline, to be godly, one must say no to some things and yes to others. I cannot be training for a marathon and saying yes to excess sugar, salt and oil while saying no to running, weights and sits ups. Something's gotta give. This reminds me of another advice from Paul to endure hardship like a good soldier. As a contender for the faith, I need to be sure that I'm living what I'm saying. Training to be godly involves PRACTICE, we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not a one day show, it is a habit (quote from?)so I must wake up each day and practice that which I have been convinced of. Storms in life are inevitable, for as well as being training tools, they serve to show in public the training we have received in private. Surviving the storm depends on what I have built my house on and what I have built my house with. So, don't shame your Papa, let the world know He trained you and is still training you real good. The goal of the trainer is not for you to fall in love with him but for you to reach the goal, so sometimes it might seem as if He don't love you anymore but be still and accept the training.

Dear Lord, help me in my training programme to be more like you. I know it's a lifelong lesson. On some days, I may fall flat on my face, on those days remind me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have made mistakes and might even make more, help me to never give up but keep striving with the grace you provide for it is always sufficient. Every morning when I wake up, it is my desire to live the life you would have me live, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. Amen

*Every body persists in its state of being at REST or of moving UNIFORMLY straight forward, except insofar as it is COMPELLED to change its state by FORCE impressed
Isaac Newton, The Principia, A new translation by I.B. Cohen and A. Whitman, University of California press, Berkeley 1999

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Excuse me! Your faith is showing..

In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

This post's title is an adaptation of a slightly embarrassing story that occurred when quite a number of years ago. I remember looking wistfully at my mum and older sister when they were dressing up because in my eyes they had reached the 'advanced' stages of wearing more interesting undergarments than my plain white vest. Lol! Anyway I decided that I too was going to join the club by hook or crook and went to wear one of my mum's slips (dunno what you call them, the one that looks like a skirt) under my cloths. I felt good, was in my own cloud nine, until someone tapped me and said, "Excuse me, your slip is showing", that brought me back to earth quickly! Obviously my mum had a bigger waist so my pretty skirt had somehow slipped down a bit and created a second hemline for my clothes. Lol, I don't even remember what made me think of this but it got me thinking that in that situation, something that was to remain on the inside had somehow made an appearance on the outside, that which should have been hidden was now exposed.

This is true of ourselves as individuals and believers, who we are on the inside will eventually show up. So, if you were to look within what would you see and vice versa. Would what you see match up to my claim about myself or would it be a facade. I can't remember where I got a quote that says, who you are screams so loudly in my ears, I can't hear what you're saying. These days, I've been meditating on what it really means to be a believer, an uncompromising child of God in a compromising world. I look within and around me and if I'm a bit honest have become a bit disillusioned with the 'schizophrenic Christianity' syndrome, where I want to have it all. I want both God and the world, I nurture and nourish both my spirit and my flesh. Father, help me. Joshua told the Israelites to choose, choose whom they would serve but he made a decision, "as for me and my house we will serve the Lord". Father, this is my prayer today as well.

I recently had a minor disagreement with a friend of mine and I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to accept the responsibility to patch things up. Why me? I didn't do anything (or so I thought) but He made me understand that even though I may not be in the wrong, I'm the one who 'claims' to read the Bible, who 'lives' according to Scripture, who goes to church, who knows that love is kind, love forgives, love takes the higher way even when it means swallowing some pride. He said "your faith is showing, what does it look like"? In every altercation you have and especially with unbelievers, it is your responsibility to work towards conflict resolution because you have me and you have the word. Hmm.

Who we are shows up one way or the other, usually on the days of adversity. I may say I love you but you'll know for sure on the day you need me! When a grape is crushed, blood does not come out. Our faith is showing, when we are crushed, what comes forth? A glass filled with dirty water is placed on a table, the table is hit, water is spilt, lo and behold what has spilled out is clean water! Not so!

Heavenly Father, I lift my hands to you, I lift my heart to you. Help me to live for you and when my faith shows, let it be in consonance with your truth in Jesus name. Sometimes, the most effective evangelism is the way we live our lives, winning them over without words!

So what are you showing?


Friday, 2 October 2009

What shall they say?

Life is more than the acquisition of stuff, it is about what we have done,whom we have served and why we will be missed when we leave (Zoe Believer, 2007)

I was going to title this post 'My Epitaph' but that sounded a bit morbid and didn't really fit my 'Thank God it's Friday, looking forward to the weekend' mood that I'm currently in! Lol! I try to read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People at least once a year, I'm on my third cycle and I still hmmm and haa although I can repeat some bits almost verbatim. I'm on the second habit which states "Begin with the end in mind" and at the beginning of the chapter, the author Stephen Covey encourages the reader to carry out an exercise in which you imagine yourself attending a funeral only to find out it's yours but you have to sit and listen to what others have to say about you.

Now before we start casting down evil imaginations, the aim of the exercise is not to focus on dying and death per se but on the epitaphs that will be given. What shall they say? I just realised that although every human being is created unique and we are so diverse, there are some things we all have in common. We are all born, we all are given 24 hours each day and someday we all die. The point is that we should live our lives focusing on the important things. It's not about living up to other people's expectations but living a life of purpose.

I always like to think that my epitaph would read "Here lies Zoe Believer, Served God, her family and humanity" but this would mean that my purpose would have to be; Serving God, my family and humanity because if what is written on that stone should hold true, it should only be the past tense of what I am living today.

On a deeper level, musing on the conversations, hoping that they're honest, what would Daddy say about me, and Mummy, my sisters, my colleagues at work, my best friends, readers of this blog, whose words would matter at the end of the day? Dr Covey says that doing this enables us touch on what are our core values; helping us arrive at our own definition of success. As a believer, I know that death in this realm is not the end and while my desire is not to be so heavenly concious that I am of no value here on earth for I recognise that God's purpose is that I run, rise and reign here, I am becoming increasingly aware of what my deposits into my spiritual bank account are and if I am really living life in balance.

Even more important is what shall He say? Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into your rest or depart for I don't know you. God forbid the latter, but what we do today determines what we get tomorrow.

What shall they say, what shall He say?


Remain blessed and highly favoured. Have a great weekend!