THE BATTLE OF WILLS

Speak Sarpong

IMG-20160418-WA0012  It’s just before the Passover festival and the Shepherd who is to be humbled into a lamb was certain the hour had come for Him to be slaughtered. The evening meal was in progress; in the presence of the Lord and the devil had already prompted Judas who is Iscariot to betray Jesus. Wow! I am amazed by the thought of this scenery. I can’t imagine myself on the battlefield in the mind of Iscariot; eating the food blessed by the Messiah and digesting the decision to betray Him. I can hear Holy Spirit reminding Judas all the sermons on brotherly love and betrayal he had heard as Christ preached them.
IMG-20160503-WA0001  Christ took off his garment and wrapped a towel around his waist like a Daddy going to take his bath, then he poured out few litters of the living waters into a basin and touched the feet…

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this may – STEP IN

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I get scared. Really scared at somewhat scary stuff.  Sometimes too at something as simple as asking someone a question or even a favour. You may call that shyness but fear underlines it. You’d be amazed at how many answers I have assumed without asking. And the resulting lies to cover that I did.  Do I have a witness? And I know these assumptions have robbed me of what I can’t quantify nor describe.

Fear has no shape, size and colour. Fear assumes what we give it. Fear is a candidate with a known campaign message but most of us unfortunately vote for it daily. We determine how long fear rules and for many, Methuselah may have died and fear still reigns.

Even for a short period, it still has the propensity to rob us of what we will never know let alone describe. I think God becomes sad watching us miss opportunities because we are scared. Plain scared to ask, move or wait.

Pull out Peter’s CV. On it, written in  bold size sixteen divine font reads, “walked on water.” Check the duration. Fifteen seconds? Thirty seconds? You don’t have to ask him. The story tells us the reason. The waves roared. The storm rose. The winds blew. He took his eyes off Jesus and he began to sink.

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Pause the story in your head for a moment. Let’s come to your most recent move inspired by fear. Now juxtapose the two. Do they look alike? Chances are they don’t. Our experiences would pale in comparison to that of Peter; not to justify Peter’s actions.

Had he kept his eyes on Jesus, I’m only assuming the others would have followed. It would have been an unforgettable service on the sea. A spectacle for the fishes to behold. And a memorial framed for eternity.

Later, an inspired Paul gives a remedy for fear. Who best than him? Having suffered shipwreck thrice. Beaten with rods thrice.  Stoned once.  Spent a night and day in open sea. I would listen to him. We’ve been given power, love and a sound mind by God to stand against fear.

Paul drew his inspiration from no strange medium. Power, love and a sound mind was Jesus in the flesh with Peter. To keep your eyes on Jesus is to acknowledge His power. It is to follow the blueprint of love He drew with His actions and inactions. It is to remain sound in mind despite uncertainties. 

And we have Jesus living in us.  Sometimes in the heat of the moment, we forget. This is a reminder. We have Jesus living in us. What’s left is the simplest part; step In.

Step in the waves of uncertainties. Step in the fury of the world’s furnace. Step in. For someone reading this, it means actually asking instead of assuming.  It means taking a lonely path God has set on you than the obvious littered with cheers and jeers. It means working your dream on all fours. It means, well you know. I trust the SPIRIT just reminded you of something fear is preventing you from doing.

By the way, why should we be scared? Why should the waves not sleep and tides, not bow? Why should our strength fail? Well, those moments are opportunities.  Not for God to prove Himself. He need not, but for us to taste and see His goodness. They are for His glory to be manifested in our lives.  To see the awe on our faces words can’t express. They are for us!

The only thing required of us is to trust Jesus living in us and… you know it, STEP IN. Be Inspired.

Kwabena Eddie Mankata ©2016

Passion

Passion simplified

kiyiapijeanne

This is the driver that keeps me up. Grinding at my craft at 2 a.m. when I don’t even care whether anyone will appreciate my work but I keep on anyway because if I don’t it gnaws at me, never at peace, the restless wanderer. Its what I feel when I look into his eyes and see the years we have spent living, loving, mistaking, forgiving, creating. Its the aroused response from me when I see injustice. Passion. Simple word that opens a wild fire in my soul. Passion
~one paragraph~

Life is about All of it

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We are lights

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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

Stay in line

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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

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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

WHEN I DIE

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When I die
Cry not
I’ve done my part
Perhaps not enough
Yet brought some hope
Gave legs to dreams
And wings to ideas

When I die
Cry not
I rest peacefully than rivers
I sing better than birds
I shine brighter than stars
I run faster than lightning
I live longer than earth

When I die
Cry not
Before God I sit
Among elders I eat
Within angels I worship
With Jesus I stroll

When I die
Cry not
I’ll understand if you do
Yet soon
Resurrection morning come
When we reunite
Never to part again

When I die
Cry not

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2016

Forward

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Pride filled my heart
To boast of yesterday’s
Glories and successes
Today
But I refused

Hatred gripped my arm
To hold yesterday’s
Grudges and disappointments
Today
But I refused

Fear seized my eyes
To magnify yesterday’s
Obstacles and problems
Today
But I refused

Despair stroked my fingers
To scribble yesterday’s
Failures and shortfalls
Today
But I refused

Doubt pricked my mind
To reason yesterday’s
Thought lines and patterns
Today
But I refused

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2016