We are lights

image

Google images (c)

By Naserian Jeanne

More and more we are called to display Jesus in our lives. How we react to things and situations, how we show faith in trial, in accepting forgiveness and in our daily walk (remember that we walk by faith not by sight). The curve ball comes when God allows us not just to gently pass by non believers but when He puts them smack in our path and then whispers in our ear, “introduce us”. Then it calls us to be true diplomats. Loving and rebuking, attracting and sharpening. As Mordecai charged her, like Queen Esther we must realise that we were made for such a time as this. To be lights in our generation.

~one paragraph~

Guest post by Naserian Jeanne. She blogs at http://www.kiyiapijeanne.wordpress.com

Advertisements

Stay in line

image

It hurts to be overlooked. It hurts to be bypassed for someone who by many standards ranks lower than you. It is not a pretty feeling to report to such one. Alacrity isn’t attached to the work they demand.

It happens in church too. Yeah it does.  My somewhat kid brother has been overlooked twice for a post. Anger, he claims isn’t what he feels. But I am no child. His diction and mannerism may as well be framed for an amateur actor to emulate. He won’t stop ranting but I am offering moral support because I’d know.

For reasons known and unknown. For reasons that make sense and not. For reasons good and not. You and I are likely to be overlooked. Chances are that you have been. Or perhaps this piece just found you looking for the right answers to bring sanity and closure to a recent demotion. It must as well be taken who is at the top now.

First impulsive reaction is to resign and go where your value will see some salutes. Or if you would stay, give less than your best. Sabotage. Or gradually redraw any resource or influence that holds the building in place. I would know, I’ve done all three.

I would also know the first reaction doesn’t always fulfil. The second doesn’t guarantee an auto leap to the top. It may drag you further down. And the third, well, regret is tied at the end. A-soul-eating regret when the havoc is seen in its entirety.

I’ll also know about another strategy. One drawn centuries ago. The prophet Isaiah puts in words that paint a better picture in thought. “He was oppressed and afflicted yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

image

Barabbas had been chosen over Jesus. A hate chorus rose among the once fulfils. To wield the power to destruct was a decision only Jesus could take.  But he didn’t. He gave in and did as told. He remained in line. One of what he endured that infuriates me till date is the spit. Really? Was it necessary?

Christ sits on the right hand of God now. His humility gave an elevation to His name. Now every kneel bows to it and every tongue confesses its authority.

To tell you to do same is the essence of this piece. Look at the bigger picture you don’t see is right to follow. But I know it gets tough the instant it happens. I know tempers fly and the mind devise all kinds of strategies mostly diabolic to orchestrate. So I am asking you to breathe. Take time to reflect and before you take any decision, pray.

I am asking you to stay in line. Do your work well and serve in your capacity. I know because I have a good friend who did and now he is a great leader. He is my today’s example for Pharaoh’s Joseph. I did stay in line behind and now I am in front of a rather larger rally.

I know because whereas earth may not recognise you, there is a larger audience in heaven who miss nothing and when they step in, the earth will see and testify.
Stay in line. Be inspired.

Kwabena Eddie Mankata © 2016

Because of you

image

She sat by the window buried in thoughts. She looked spent from crying. I took the seat by her when I entered the bus. She had a call and believe me, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop. I didn’t. Summary of what she said? Her mum was going blind.  Apparently the doctors had failed to help. When the call ended, she put on her earphones and looked out the window.

I thought I heard a voice say, “make her aware that I care and she needs to trust me to help.” So I turned to trace the voice. There was no need. We were seated at the back. And the guy to my right was busy on his phone. It couldn’t have been him.

Then it hit me, it was the Holy Spirit. There is no way the devil would say that. But I hesitated. Pretended not to have heard anything. Th more miles we covered, the heavier the command weighed in on me.

So I mounted a mental rebellion with excuses. She doesn’t look like someone who wants to talk. What if she doesn’t listen? God, why don’t you tell her yourself? Hmmm…I knew it was no use. I had to tell this lady about Jesus for my own sake.

You see it wasn’t the first time I have had such commands. It won’t the first time if I disobey. Yet I know too well the guilty feelings that would follow. I wasn’t going through it again. She was going to alight at the next bus stop. I had to act fast.

So I picked a paper and wrote a few lines about Jesus. The Loving Saviour who heals with words. The One who doesn’t forsake. The One time rather waits for. The One who loves to see our reactions when He performs a miracle.

Her family should simply pray and trust Jesus. Thankfully I was done before we got to next stop. I handed the paper to her. She looked at me in a queer way. Then I told her to kindly read it. She nodded and got down.

As we drove off, the burden lifted. I didn’t take her number neither did I give her mine. Yet I knew at that moment, I had done right. Jesus took it from there and I have no doubt in my spirit, her mum is healed.

And over the weekend, I have this guy buy call credit from. I had almost walked past his joint when I felt to give him one of the five canned drinks in my bag. Errr I didn’t want to because I had plans for the drinks. And no, I wasn’t going to share with anyone. I had personal plans. Actually I walked past him but the uneasiness grew so I came back and gave it to him. Shocked preceded his gratitude. Trust me; words will fail in describing both.

Two simple acts of obedience with tremendous impact. We cannot underestimate the power these acts carry. We cannot.

I have not always had it right but I know how these simple acts please God. My prayer is be obedient no matter what. My prayer is to surrender my excuses. My prayer is to get in front of my pride and shyness. My prayer it to be a vessel God works through.

God is calling you to do same. God is calling you to continue. As you step out, stay open for a direction of God in simple forms. The greatest of all is to share Christ.

image

Afterwards, you may not see them again. You may see them and share in their joy. They may be grateful. They may not be grateful.

But in all these, the greatest inexplicable feeling is when God looks at you and begins a positive sentiment with the phrase, “because of you…”  Be inspired!

Kwabena Eddie Mankata © 2016

People Will Fall For You

image

You cannot choose who falls in love with you. You can’t help it. You can’t also choose the time it happens. The place and the how. Be yourself and someone is helpless around you.

It is not your fault you are pretty. You didn’t combine the chromosomes and alleles to have a handsome face. You didn’t give yourself that sweet voice.  You didn’t give yourself those skills. You didn’t draw the blueprint for your smile. You didn’t build the mould for your stature and features. You didn’t. You did nothing.

Maybe you’ve enhanced your looks. Maybe you have sharpened your skills. Maybe the gym has brought in a few abs.

But this truth can’t be changed. God did it. God made you beautiful. He always places within each child something awesome and outstanding.

Bezalel is by far the most gifted person of old. Take Esther. She was lovely in form and features. Then Saul. The tallest man in Israel and the most handsome. Then David. He was ruddy with bright eyes.

The world has a standard of beauty. It is way below God’s. You are in God’s class of beauty. A class that has ability to give people day dreams and sleepless night.

It is on and inside you. The way you talk and sing. The way you dress and walk. The way you speak and preach. The way you reason and teach. The way you play. Your passion and determination. Your confidence and faith. These are enough to make people fall for you.

Unless you live on an island alone, people will fall for you. Some will remain secret admirers and never tell.

Others will be too overwhelmed to keep it a secret. She will tell a friend who will whisper into your ears. He will mention it to you one day. Then you smile. You feel special and a kind of elation.

It is a good feeling to know someone is falling for you. It is bad for them if you don’t share the same sentiment. And the Jesus thing to do, is to let them know and move on.

Except we don’t do the Jesus thing. At the end of that good feeling is the urge to exploit. And we do that. We take advantage of the people who by no fault of theirs fall for us. We know we can get them to do anything. We know we can get them to go anywhere. We know we can because they lose themselves around us. And we exploit them for our selfish reasons.

“But I didn’t ask him to buy anything.” You did ask for a phone when you said yours had screen problems. You did ask for wine when you mentioned cravings for sobolo.  Or yeah, you didn’t think they would seriously buy it? Well they did.

image

Because love can make the wise and reasonable do crazy things. It can cause them to make the extreme, look easy and normal to you.

Ask Jacob. So Jacob worked for seven years (fourteen in all) to acquire Rachel. But they seemed like only a few days to him because his love for her was so great. People in love do crazy things.

And they are vulnerable too. It makes it easy to exploit them. Except after exploiting them, one day you’d really have to make them understand the truth. You don’t love them and end it. Or ran away like some do if you aren’t bold enough. For certain, you’d break hearts and shutter dreams. You might give them a new home; psychiatry ward. And while life returns to normal for you, nothing about them becomes normal again.

So save them. Save yourself. What a man sows, he reaps. What we do to people, will be done us in different forms and ways. I know so. And since they too are children of God, He collects their tears. Being a loving Father who fights His children’s battles, I…reserve my comments.

You can’t help who falls in love with you but you can help how you treat them. Don’t exploit them. Be Inspired!

Kwabena Eddie Mankata © 2016

This April, let free be free

image

forbes.com

We demand it, though intuitively. We appear not to mind if you give it to someone else but that’s a lie. You feel guilty if you don’t help us and you know it.

What am I talking about? Simple. When we have offered any assistance to you in cash or kind and we need some form of help now. Help, you can give. Except we aren’t the only people in need of that help. There are several others. Some who really need it. Some you would really want to help.

But you are tied. Trapped. Boxed to a corner by our past kind gestures. “Thank you” was clearly not enough.

Fairness demands you give it to us. Logic approves. You can help us to reciprocate the kindness. It seems the right thing to do.

Or you can help the other people. That “might” shut the door to any form of help from us in the near and distance future. And give you a tag of ingratitude in our books. We might just paint you in a lighter shade of black to friends and loved ones.

I have been in such situations many times. I don’t like it. Some, I did handled well. Even got the opportunity to offer explanation for helping others instead. Some too, I doubt I’d ever get a grain of sand from them if they owned the sea shore.

I have also been denied help from people I’ve been generous too. Truth be told, the feeling is nothing short of betrayal. It hurts. Yet my pain goes a long way to question my motives. 

How free is the help we offer? How free are our kind gestures? How free is free in our books? Do we willingly give or set the receiver on some sort of psychological trap for the near future.

Favours are perhaps meant to be returned. Kindness too apparently but not necessarily. However, when need be, do reciprocate kind gestures. It is the right thing to do. A human phenomenon.

More importantly, let free be free. No reminders. No psychological traps. No tags if the receiver is unable to reciprocate the gesture. No shut downs. Granted the opportunity, help again.  

image

Getty images (c)

Here is one way how. Offer help in a way you’d never be known as the source. There are ways to genuinely help someone without showing your face. Many ways. They wouldn’t know who. They won’t be trapped in any form.

When you need to show your face, do it so sincerely that the thought to pay you back would rarely pop in their head even if they can. And by all means, handle the temptation to demand help back.

This April, let your free be free. Be Inspired

Kwabena Eddie Mankata © 2016

Are you robbing yourself?

anger-management

booksnotbombs.org.au

Reality changes perception. No doubt. When you encounter the truth, you let go of your long held erroneous impressions.

I experienced it back at the university. In my class was Ama. I didn’t like her because I didn’t know her. As good as she was; nothing she ever did impressed me. In fact, I cared less. Truth? I never cared at all. Until groups of five had to be formed for a course project. Your guess is as good as mine.

She was the only one who turned up for our first group discussion. Against my decision, she argued we at least discuss the objective, timelines and budget. We ended up discussing more than that. We discussed ourselves. Then came my shame. I was totally wrong about her.

She was a nice person. She still is. I know you’ve had similar experiences. Yet we still hold ill impressions of some people we don’t really know. We don’t think good of them because of what people have said about them. Or what we have even seen them do or heard them say. I know so. I am working on giving everyone a clean sheet. You do same.

But I want to stretch this human tendency to our everyday decisions.

Could it be that the reason you are still stuck in this job isn’t tangible? Could it be the reason you haven’t taken a step is no fear at all? Could it be the reason you haven’t confronted that problem is weak? Could it be that the reason you aren’t even dating anyone is a far-fetched lie? Could it be the reason you are still at this level is insubstantial? Could it?

Yes it could. In fact, it is true. I know for certain, some deep-seated wrong perceptions are hindering our progress. Some lies we bought in years ago is the reason for this bankruptcy. Some wrong prophecy has robbed us of taking bold steps in God. Fear has more people incarcerated than breaking the law. The greatest obstacle for many isn’t physical but psychological with keys held by these two words; what if!

fear

time.com

I have learnt that every decision in life is inspired by either love or fear. Our love for, or of something against our fear of something. Of the two, I know we have given fear more points.

So this is a call to reconsider your reasons. To question your intentions. To put your motives on the stand and cross examine them.

So why haven’t worked on that dream? Why do you hate that person so much? Why don’t you go to church at all or even come early? Why have you stopped hoping? Why have you stopped praying? Why are you home? Why are you taking no action? Why are you still not pushing? Why are you not seizing the opportunities? Why?

And how long have you held on to these reasons? Are they still relevant owing to this time and age? Do they still have meaning taken how everything has evolved?

We are all great at making substantial arguments that should pass as great excuses and fit neatly as shoe fits Cinderella. So don’t quickly disregard the reasons. Or even refuse to question them. Take time to reflect and consider their appropriateness.

When I questioned my intentions. When I queried my excuses. When I put my motives on the stand. I was shocked. Completely taken about by how I had robbed myself. How I have literally sat on my own happiness. Denied myself opportunities. Destroyed some relationships. Never even started relationships with some people that could have blossomed by now. All because of some long held intangible excuses and fears. Never again.

shocked-face

healthylifedaily.org

You will be shocked too. The only reason that won’t shock is the one that led you to Christ. The rest, I know some will shock. But it is good thing. So you become a better person to yourself, your family, this nation and God.

So go on. Reconsider your reasons. Re-examine your motives. Question your inspirations again. Don’t rob yourself with perceptions, excuses, reasons and fears. Don’t. Be Inspired.

 

Kwabena Eddie Mankata © 2016

don’t give up

dont-give-up

actscommunitychurches.com

I have heard it. I have read it. I have seen it. I have said it. So many times, I can’t remember to number.

Don’t give up. Life can punch those words out of your spirit. Make them evaporate under intense heat. So much that you wouldn’t find the D that begins the Don’t but you have to press on.

Here’s what those words mean. Actually.

You would be misunderstood. Not because your vision isn’t clear though you explain with the simplest words. But it won’t make sense to them. They would think you don’t have what it takes. They would think you are crazy but don’t give up. Maybe you need to quit explaining and start doing.

You would be disappointed. Yeah you would. Sometimes, the same people who profess love won’t be available to help. Even those who promise and swear to help wouldn’t, sometimes. They have pressing issues too. They have assignments too. No hard feelings. But don’t give up. Fold your sleeves and get it done.

You would fail. Lose a lot if not everything. To believe in a dream is to channel all your energy and resources there. It can go south. The plan can fail. You might run at loss and be in debt. You will be scared to try again. It will make sense not to. It will but don’t give you. No amount of money lost in pursuing a dream goes waste. Not in the long run. Look for resources elsewhere.

You would be discouraged. One insensitive slur thrown. One piercing look cast. And your steam might go off. Your fire extinguished. Depending on whose words and looks, recovery can be near impossible. But don’t give up. We are here to glorify God. He neither slurs nor sniggers at our loss. Press on.

And everything that can go wrong; can go wrong. Even what you think mustn’t, can go wrong. You would feel trapped in a cell with the walls closing in. Light and darkness would mean same; darkness. But don’t give up. Fight back. Create a hole in the tumbling walls for light. Keep the light in your imagination on. Don’t give up.

9

shutterstock.com

Death is the only accepted reason to give up. Fear isn’t. Failure isn’t. Disappointment isn’t. Loss isn’t. Needless to say every dream cost. But idleness cost more. Giving up cost more. Keep trying. Don’t give up. Be inspired.

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2016