WORSHIP

What comes to your mind when you think of Worship? A group of people singing hymns and praise songs? Prayers that declare God’s Nature and Attributes?

Do you ever get tired of this world? Do you get tired of the monotony of life and seek a higher, more exciting plane? Do you ever long to leave all the filth and degradation behind, for just a little while? Would you like a break sometime—to just get away from it all, and go to a place where you can just leave it all behind? That is what worship does

Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Bringing pleasure to God is called worship. The Bible says “The Lord is pleased only with those who worship him and trust his love”. Like a diamond, worship is multifaceted. It would take volumes to cover all there is to understand about worship.

Worship means different things to different people. From Catholicism to Protestantism, all denominations define worship in terms of their traditional thinking and cultural conditioning. For some it is nothing more than a pitiful excuse for a pathetic display of painstaking spirituality. For others it is a means of attaining eccentric esoteric experiences – a spiritual state supposedly superior to others.

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament word combine not only physical posture and expression in worship, but also the words we pray or sing as we interact with the Scriptures. We do this activity solely to honor the Lord. Regardless of whether I worship by myself, or with my family or roommates, in a home fellowship group, a Bible study, a Sunday School class, or an all-church service of worship, we do it to focus on the Lord.

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary defines worship in two views

  1. The practice of showing respect to God, by singing with others, saying prayers.
  2. A strong feeling of love and respect for someone or something

However, it is well known that dictionary definitions are insufficient to fully determine the meaning of a word or idea but only a Christian, one who sees through the eyes of faith, can appreciate the eternal value and the absolute spiritual necessity of learning to bow down before our Lord God in adoring veneration.

Worship is hard To Define. It is not really defined in Scripture—it is shown, but not explained. The primary Old Testament term translated “worship” means “to bow downto prostrate oneself” and the primary New Testament term literally means “to kiss toward”.  “It may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims. Whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving… or by deed done in such acknowledgment” (W.E. Vine)

Worship is a spiritual exercise. It is an exercise of the mind and heart, more than just an action of the body. Time and time again people are so sidetracked by the rituals of worship that they miss the true essence of humility before God, love for one another and a holy life.

Anthropologists have noted that worship is a universal urge, hard-wired by God into the very fiber of our being- an inbuilt need to connect with God. Worship is as natural as eating or breathing. If we fail to worship God, we always find a substitute, even if ends up being ourselves. The reason God made us with this desire is that he desires worshipers.

Depending on your religious background, you may need to expand your understanding of ‘’worship”. You may think of church services with singing, praying and listening to as sermon. Or you may think of ceremonies, candles, and communion. Or you may think of healing, miracles, and ecstatic experiences. Worship can include these elements, but worship is far more these expressions. Worship is a lifestyle.

Worship is far more than music. If Worship was just music, then all who are nonmusical could never worship. Every part of a church service is an act of worship: praying, Scripture reading, singing, confession, silence, being still, listening to a sermon, taking notes, giving an offering, baptism, communion and even greeting other worshippers.

Worship has nothing to do with the style or volume or speed of a song. God loves all kinds of music because He invented it all- fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does! If it is offered to God in spirit and truth, it is an act of worship.

Frankly, the music style you like best says more about you- your background and personality- than it does about God. God likes variety and enjoys it all.

These two definitions, adoration and service, hold each other in a creative tension. They reinforce each other. If we are to be Biblical, we cannot have one definition without the other. Without adoring veneration on a regular basis our service becomes empty, barren activity. There is little sense of the eternal perspective in what we do. On the other hand, without the regular choice to live out the moral and ethical implications of worship through a lifestyle of obedience, times of praise and worship become hypocrisy.

If you have ever said, “I didn’t get anything out of worship today,” you worshiped for the wrong reason. Worship isn’t for you. It’s for God. Of course, most “worship” services also include elements of fellowship, edification and evangelism and there are benefits to worship, but we don’t worship to please ourselves. Our motive is to bring glory and pleasure to our Creator. God’s heart is not touched by tradition in worship, but by passion and commitment.

Worship is not a part of your life, it is your life. Worship is not just for church services. We are told to “worship him continually” and to “praise him from sunrise to sunset”. In the Bible, people praised God at work, at home, in battle, in jail and even in bed! Praise should be the first activity when you open your eyes in the morning and the last activity when you close them at night. David said, “I will thank the Lord at all times. My mouth will always praise Him”. Our motivation for a lifestyle of worship is God’s merciful love.

Every activity can be transformed into an act of worship when you do it for the praise, glory and pleasure of God. Martin Luther said, “A dairymaid can milk cows to the glory of God” Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence. Real worship is all about falling in love with Jesus

We are commanded to give to our LORD the honor and respect due His Name! We are also commanded to worship, or prostrate ourselves before Him. When was the last time you fell on your face in worship of your LORD? It is at once a humbling and inspiring experience! And lest we think our beautiful buildings and fashionable apparel can garner God’s pleasure, David instructs us to worship in holiness … in the purity of our hearts and minds, for only such worship will God accept.

Worship proclaims our dependence on God. Worship is always offered to a greater being from a lesser being. God does not need our worship but He does seek it as an expression of our love and communion with Him.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Eliezer

 

 

 

 

SHOOT FOR LIFE

Some weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a basketball seminar being held at Ejisu Model School. A 10 year anniversary to commemorate how influential Shoot for Life Ministries have been in the lives of young leaders through basketball. I had the opportunity to meet Pastor Roxane from the USA basketball team.

Basketball is a sport I love so much because unlike football which focuses so much on the teamwork of 11 players to put a ball in the net. Basketball usually takes the effort of one dominant person, to make game changing plays. Clutch shots? Pump fakes? In and Outs? 360s? 3 point shots? One player. This shows my love for basketball.

Not to digress from the topic, Shoot for Life has the purpose of raising young visionary leaders by inculcating basketball into them from the start. Get them through basketball and preach the word of God, so they do not depart from it.

The word of God is shared and the children are taken through drills to make them better basketball players with the hope they are sent out of the country to play basketball and help in propagating the word of God. I hope Ghanaian leaders could also start a wonderful initiative like this. Whether it be, hockey, basketball or football because we can not let all these amazing talents go waste.

Their mission is to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches

This is their website

Website : http://ghanafca.org

Picture of trophies they have won over the past few years

Below is a picture of my coach and I. Berchie.

David Dompey my basketball role model. I see you! Respect!

VOICE OF POWER

Lately, Friends have expressed their displeasure in the sudden change of my personality. I think I have become more quiet, reserved and distant, furthering my reach from friends and family who actually care, and keeping to myself most at times. This personality makes it difficult for people to lunge at me, with full extension and flexion of their pretentious smiles and grins just to know the story behind “his misanthropy”

I think this is a way to protect my mental space; by keeping a few trusted friends and making close meaningful relationships.

This month has been a very hectic one! I thank God my firm willpower has not been shattered yet. The hospital admissions of two close friends, the back to back duties conjugating the essence to produce well delivered presentations every 2 weeks, and the vigor to ensure my patients get the best of care-saps the limited energy I have.

Free flying ideas that rampage my mind muffles this deep seated call from God; penetrating every fibre of my nerve- endings, rendering me mute and teary just to acknowledge the need to worship Him.

Listening to music has always been my escape route to the stress of this life. Please discard the notion “I’m rude”, if I happen to disregard your presence, in the whirlwind of my earbuds, when I should have stopped and said Hi.

As I was ministering in church today, I felt this sudden calmness; God’s way of telling me He’s got it all. “Stop worrying and Worship”. That unruffled, serene, deep and strong voice that tames the feelings of guilt and despair and flames that spirit longing for Him.

That voice that breaks my stone-cold heart and melts it into fragments of blood vessels, that My heart can pump in response to Love, one more time.

That voice that gives me back the lost desire and restores in me the Love I felt once more for Him.

That voice that crumbles kingdoms and smashes nations into pellets of chaos by stilling their mighty storm with a single word.

That voice that is glorious in thunder and sends droplets of rain as evidence of His compassionate heart even after we falter.

That voice that calls us up further and further towards of His throne of grace, as He challenges us to grow in faith and love.

That voice that serves as a bedrock for my fleeting ideas and thoughts, thrown as darts by my panic-stricken heart.

I pray these words of Avalon in First Love stir up your desire to hear that voice of Power!

“I used to be the one who would long to hear Your voice

A child who sought to win his Father’s heart

But as I carried on, life’s got a hold on me

Now here I am a son so far from home

Tell me when did I loose my first love?

Where did the fire and passion go?

Burn in me Your holy fire give me back my lost desire

And restore in me the love I felt for You”

Is God’s voice of power the loudest voice in your life?

That’s the question.

If the answer is no, that’s the problem.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Sunday

This post was inspired by Zipporah. True friends like you are rare. Keep being yourself!

Eliezer

GIVING

It’s been a while I put down something. I trust we are all doing fine? Today’s topic dares to be interesting. It is a post of giving ; The Christian Way.

It was the 8th of September 2018, time check 3:00pm. I found myself escorting my favorite cousin; Maame Dufie to get her provisions in town. We found ourselves at the exact location because her dad’s car had maneuvered through the gate of Golden Tulip some minutes right after we had our lunch.

 

I remember the 20 cedis I had on me almost falling out of my pocket. This bolted me into the sense of awareness I was officially broke. How was I going to survive? I saw myself as this big boy who had got his guts together and did not need help from anyone financially. God had to intervene; This was my silent prayer.

The schedule for church the next day had been earmarked and dubbed “Pastor’s Appreciation Day” A day pastors in the church were rewarded with the delicacies emanating from people’s pocket based on how proficient and instrumental they had been in the lives of their church members.

I remember crying in my chest and complaining on how broke I was. I was so broke I could not sit up straight. Swaying to and fro with the rocker buttom feet that took its place on the ground in the form of shoes. Expenses kept mounting and climbing that my bank account had hidden her face from my sight. It was tired of succumbing to the shadow of undulating stress and apprehensiveness. These were days I wish I had a side job but…

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I informed my cousin of the reality I had just 20 cedis in my pocket and… she was taken aback. I had to support her with my palms to prevent her from falling backwards. She made an emphatic statement and further questioned me on how much I put in the offering bowl every Sunday. She stated plainly without mincing words “Nana, you would be doing a great deservice to God if you put anything less than 10 cedis in the bowl.

I smiled coyly and replied “Its my widows mite I give. The amount I give does not matter, all that matters is whether it is from a good heart or not”

“Nana, if you knew the benefits of giving, you would have carried everything you possessed to the altar” But then I knew I would not be demonstrating common sense if I did that. What would I eat? What would I wear? Where would I sleep and lastly What would I spend?

“The Lord would provide” kept hammering its nail into my eardrums but I easily distracted myself as we got to the destination – Opoku Trading. I had not made up my mind to give.

I decided to read on the benefits of giving and share it with you readers. I hope it touches your heart to give because God loves a cheerful giver.

Money has the inherent potential to take the place of God because it feeds us, clothes us and gives us the good things we enjoy. We work for money, depend on it and gain security and significance through it.

To the degree that a Christian allows money to take precedence over God in their affection, trust and pursuits, that Christian is serving a false god and not a true God. Materialism drains the vitality and power out of one’s spiritual life and places one in bondage to things of the world.

Giving is the key that breaks the power of the false god of money. Scripture indicates how giving fits in God’s plan for the Christian life.

Giving is rooted in the character of God. All of God’s blessings are given, not earned, shaken but not stirred. Therefore the practice of giving is imitating the character of God.

Above all else, giving increases our affection for Christ. This is why it is necessary to mentally give each gift to Jesus Christ. When you give your gift to Him, your heart would automatically be drawn to the Lord.

The practice of giving is a spiritual discipline of great significance for all Christians. It is my prayer to put into action, God’s principle of giving.

Thanks for reading

Eliezer.

DEPENDENCE

27th June 2018, 08:00am. Amidst the heavy traffic, I managed to get to work early today to start reviews. My current rotation has granted me the opportunity to work with critical preterm babies.

A preterm, unfortunately, is born more than three weeks before its estimated due date. It is important to keep such babies in an optimal state to prevent numerous complications that could befall them – A recognized one. Apnea of Prematurity

Mothers, oblivious of these conditions, become impatient and call for an early discharge from the hospital. With elucidation, they get to discern the importance of keeping their babies in incubators, dispensing their lungs with oxygen and nurturing them adequately before they leave the hospital. Mothers are happy, We are happy!

Reaching the ward, I started my reviews of the babies; ensuring they had their medications, monitoring their temperature, in addition to their feeding pattern and attending to any pending issues distressing the mother or the baby.

After inserting the yellow cannula into the first baby’s antecubital vein, the adjacent monitor started to beep. I was enlightened beforehand not to turn a deaf ear to any noise a monitor made, regardless of its pitch.

The AMBU bag lying in the babies incubator drew my attention to the possibility that, the baby had been resuscitated a couple of times in the night. The monitor read 32% and jumped to 26%. In the next second. I found myself resuscitating this baby with the AMBU bag in my hand.

Handclaspping the ambu bag in different motions of contraction and expansion, the baby’s chest rose and fell to this intense flux of air, waving the oxygen saturation to rise in concord. It took me a minute before I realized the environment I was in.

After bagging for an hour, the SP02 read 100%, but, the baby was not breathing; her chest was not rising. I restarted the monitor a couple of times, but the display had the same reading everytime. Could I trust this monitor? I continued bagging when I remembered the words of my lecturer “YOU are the best monitor!” I continued to impale her chest with oxygen from the bag, when I noticed the pulsation on her chest had become faster and stronger. “The best determinant of sucess of oxygen delivery was an increase in heart rate” My fingers recoiled for joy when the baby resumed spontaneous breathing strenously.

I had the opportunity to glance through the baby’s folder. Obviously the baby was at the Intensive Care Unit on account being born before her time. She had an extremely low birth weight of 0.9kg, that it made her look fragile.

On admission, she had suffered multiple episodes of seizures. We played with an initial diagnosis of Meningitis, but revised the diagnosis, when the electrolytes popped up deranged. Sodium was skyrocketing high! Hypernatremia. The CSF results turned out normal surprisingly.

The objective way I could confirm multiple episodes of resuscitation conducted for this baby was to read the nurses notes; handwritten in red. “Baby was seen desaturating at 8:35pm on intranasal oxygen. Bagging started for an hour. Spontaneous respiration resumed but weak.” This had been written three times, making reading monotonous, but it had happened. The baby had been bagged.

I had tons of babies to review but this one had captured my attention. She reminded me of the Biblical narration that moved the Good Shepherd into action to neglect the ninety- nine sheep just to save the life of that one priceless sheep in the wilderness.

With this in thought, I continued bagging, and praying God would save the life of this young lad. I felt despondent when the mother checked in, in tears and asked if everything would be fine. A question which I had no answer to.

Surprisingly,there was no chest movement, but audibly, air entry into her chest was adequate. Something was propelling this baby to strive, vive and live. A couple of people came around and asked me to stop because babies bagged for long hardly survived. But I was the firm certainty this one would make it. I didn’t know how.

I gave up after a couple of minutes and washed my hands; throwing in the towel but my conscience probed me to continue fighting for this baby. So I continued bagging, for another one hour.

Then It hit me! Why don’t I stop everything and commit the fate of this baby into the arms of His loving care. I couldn’t bag for 24 hours. He had already decided the fate of this baby irrespective of hard and insistent I was. Removing my gloves and leaving the area was a painful decision, but then I had to let God do His work. It demanded I closed my eyes before I could see through His eyes.

I said a word of prayer for her soul and left the rest of the care to God. I was because He is.

I was so hopeful to come to meet this baby in the full health the next day, so then I knew He was God.

So then, I left home very early the next day, just to see this baby in a better state; the classic miracle I was expectant of.

As I entered the room, the first thing I noticed was the white bed linen. Initially, I thought I was in the tombstone of Jesus Christ. The white empty duvet stared at my face with a sinister smile of victory.

I knew this baby had kicked the bucket, but I had to confirm that from the attending nurse, just to be sure. It had lunged to that moment, bagging the child could not save the baby any longer in the afternoon. Tired Lung Syndrome? Please don’t try looking it up.

I continued with the rest of the reviews knowing this baby’s life was safe in the hands of its Maker.

We as Christians always want things to go our way. We begin to pant in desperation and rant in defiance when we recognize the wiff of disappointment and the air of disheartenment breezing. It’s easy to accuse God when life goes wrong. He can do anything, stop anything and change anything. But sometimes He doesn’t.

This world is full of death, disease and sin. Bad things happen to good people—even exemplary Christian people. But…

God never promised we would get what we crave for, that our days would be plain sailing, just because we chose to follow Him.

That is where disappointment sets in, hitting the hardest when we becloud what we think God owes us, with what He has actually assured us of. A life full of hope!

He said we should give thanks. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus”

No matter the phase of life you are going through, Hold on! When it seems your prayers are falling on deaf ears, Hold on! When it seems there’s nothing to Hold on to, Hang in. He said we should give thanks and in His time, He would manifest Himself.

I would like to end with this

Have a lovely weekend!

Eliezer

NARROW ESCAPE

12th May 2018. Time check: 3:30am. Another night duty! I pitched my eyes across the expanse of the room with very sleepy eyes, after penning down IV Vitamin K 1mg stat, on the drug sheet of the fresh baby I had examined.

Give 192 mls of 10% plain dextrose in a fifth of Normal Saline and monitor the respiratory rate of the baby.” The ecstasy I felt after winding up the yellow folder in the palms of the nurse, could not be compared to the fufu I had taken in the afternoon; which still sauntered on my taste buds and tonsils with jest.

I moved towards the exit… then I saw it! A baby wrapped in a cot sheet, being humped into the emergency workplace. This zapped me back in; with the intention of seeing to an early discharge.

The night had been a busy night. Everyone was tired! Working for 7 hours straight! non stop Our cortices had been denied the opportunity of spatially recognizing the chairs in the room. We had seen a triad of twins, sixplets? preterm babies and babies in respiratory distress. The place was so full that it emptied the little space remaining. The coolers had been conditioned to malfunction for just a day; so the place was as recalescent as a microwave.

Place the baby on the working table” I said, reaching for the glucometer. Then I saw it – this baby was pink! I had to hide my palms momentarily not to display my own pallor. I checked the airway – which was as patent as the entrance to the emergency room. Baby was breathing unconstrained, with good inspiratory and expiratory effort. His chest moved with oscillatory pirouette; dancing to the harmony of a regular rhythm. I had never heard a chest as crystal clear as his; envisaging how perfect his lungs were, with a scapel blade in my hands.

His heart lubbed and dubbed- doubling every time the second hand nodded. Stunningly, my stethoscope refined its colour, just to match his pink body. It divulged its attachment to the preemie; pledging its allegiance.

The glucometer, after having a taste of his blood, followed his 2 second heart beat and embossed 5.1 with a huge smile. At a very low birth weight of 1.28kg, he looked active; consciously moving his limbs with a normal activity. The newborn reflexes, which signified his bond to infancy were present, except that for suckling – bespeaking his need for maternal attachment.

Carrying the baby was a nurse in scrubs, in the accompaniment of a tall dark man I presumed to be the father of the baby. To my surprise, the man turned out to be the ambulance driver.

After my initial assessment, the only problem I identified was the weight of the baby: 1.28kg. From head to toe, the baby was just fine.

This baby was found in a dustbin” The nurse said. The little dopamine I had left animated my mood, when the pen had thought of falling from my hands.

The baby’s mother was alleged to have dropped the baby in the dustbin; stationed in one of the washrooms found in the hospital. After the incident, she came to lie on the bed unflurried and unruffled– like nothing had happened.

The reporting nurse discovered the baby when she visited the washroom some minutes afterwards, where she detected the baby; by the tenor of his cry. She immediately washed the baby and rushed the baby to our location, while the mother was sent to the police station for questioning.

The baby was admitted, started on intravenous fluids and antibiotics. The antibiotics were given because it was presumed the environment he found himself, after birth was septic.

But then, he was the cutest thing I had seen in a while. The specialist during ward rounds, even had the intendment of adopting the baby.

Then the fortunate happened…

His mother appeared at the hospital the next day in tears. Just in the nick of time.

Apparently, she had experienced her ‘menses’ a month ago. The subtle complaints of intermittent abdominal pain brought her feet to the hospital. Little did she know she was 7 months pregnant.

This story did not make sense. Therefore I probed further. She was a 24 year old high school graduate, who had 2 children already, with a man with whom she was cohabiting.

She left her country of origin with the hope of landing and securing a job in Ghana; with the little education she had. Little did she know all her knots were tied.

She earned 5 cedis everyday which could not cater for her in-and out fare, to the workplace. I would draw your attention to the fact that she needed breakfast, lunch and supper.

Then, she met her savior who savored her exuberance by admitting her to a brothel. Her escapades at the brothel would not be narrated today.

Back at the hospital. The baby popped out into the water closet as she emptied her bowels. She assumed the baby was dead, judging from its size and dumped the baby into the bin.

She tried to draw the attention of the nurse who was deeply rooted in the dial of her phone, but she was dismissed with a wave of the hand. Lying on her bed, she waited for the nurse who was duty comatose but then…she slept!

She lurched into awareness when she noticed two men standing close to the bed in police apparel. She was sent to the station for questioning, as her baby was brought to our unit for assessment.

The next day, the 24 year old woman felt remorse for what she had done, after being extricated from the arms of the law.

It was a sight to behold, just to see such a tiny baby in between the breasts of his mother for warmth.

Time check : 6:06pm

Eliezer

A TALE OF THE NIGHT

It was a cold, windy, starry night. Forget about the stars, but the wind was cold. A night you would not want to spend in a cramped place like this, but in the coziness of your duvets.

Time check- 9:25pm. All I could do was marvel at the manual dexterity my boss displayed after a month at MBU. Seeing every emergency case… left… right… centre as I was sturdily taking notes with my eyes.

You have a new patient to see ASAP” brought my attention to the fact that I wasn’t being just a spectator this evening.

I rushed to the scene and realized I was really on duty. “Please where is the glucometer? Kindly add the cotton wool. Pulse oximeter please?” I was basically asking for everything, including a pen. You know that feeling where you find yourself holding a fishing rod, when you have been a carpenter your whole life, and you are suddenly looking for a fish on the open seas?

The blue color stared right at me. It was time to leave the sea and face reality. This baby was blue!! From the head to the toes. “Can you please get me the pulse oxi..” stopping in my tracks after perceiving the dirty smirk it gave me on the working table.

Beep! 68%… 78%... beep! 30%.. Beeeep! 5%. Someone looked like he wanted to pop off on me. Amidst sweats on a cold evening, I was really on the seas.

“Get me the intranasal prongs to give oxygen” I struggled out. We might have to bag, considering the turn of events. It was right there, that I noticed the frown in the form of a cleft lip and palate.

My first patient for my first duty day and this is what you throw down my neck?

I checked the accompanying the Head Ticket- the piece of paper that wielded the information surrounding the delivery of the baby. The paper read boldly not hesitating. “ Baby is being sent to your unit with Prematurity, Multiple Congenital Abnormalities and Birth Asphyxia. “

Whiz words to the neoteric ears. 28 weeks of gestation? I started to examine the baby, ignoring the plenty beeps intentionally being thrown into my ears to throw me off balance.

Complete Head to Toe Examination. His small head appeared to extrude a soft bloody swelling at the back of his head; most likely containing his brain. His head wasnt well formed. His ears were malformed. His right eye looked like it had been sewn very tight. His flat nasal bridge made inserting the oxygen prongs very difficult. The gaze was intense with the cleft lip and palate. Beeeeep! 3%. Hard guy but you cant bag.

The sounds being played by his chest were melodic, that my stethoscope danced to the tune of it. There were times his lungs would sing at a high pitch and suddenly reach a descendo. These were signs of underdeveloped heart and lungs.

A glance at the genitals had a very ambiguous look. His feet, finally was the classic Rocker Bottom. Words are not enough to describe how he looked but be informed, theres a reason why a normal pregnancy is supposed to last 38 weeks or more.

The mother was the only hope now. A call placed to the labour ward induced the appearance of her head at the entrance. “How did he make it?” she asked, looked astounded, finding the baby alive. A question only God could answer.

It was then the story materialized. She was advised to take an obstetric ultrasound when her pregnancy hit the 7month mark. Unfortunately, the ultrasound blueprinted a baby not likely to survive after he was born; because he had a congenital anomaly. A disability he was likely to be born with.

Although congenital anomalies may be the result of a genetic, infectious, nutritional or environmental factors, it is often difficult to identify the exact causes.

I tried so hard to identify how this mishap happened. “Did you attend antenatal care?, Did you fall ill during the pregnancy? Did you take the prescribed drugs? Did you take any other drug, you shouldn’t have taken during the pregnancy?” All of her responses were music to my ears, making it difficult for the risk factor to be identified.

It was then the question clicked, just like the beep from the monitor. “Did you take herbal preparations?” I asked and her reply was sensational.

Indeed, she did take locally brewed enemas with the aim of making her unborn baby strong and preventing “asram”.

In conjunction with her husband, they had intended to terminate the pregnancy at a hospital, with the erudition from the doctor who performed the ultrasound scan.

Their plan, however was unsuccessful. The baby lived! But barely, with all these malformations. The question I kept on asking myself was why we overburdened ourselves with ignorance of these herbal preparations. You just name it. Any condition with the prefix of chronic attached is caused by our dear herbal preparations. “The dissolver of hernias” and “The smelters of fibroids”. But then the complex puzzle had been solved

Beeeep!! 1%, but then the call had to be made. The child could not be allowed to suffer any more. The blue discoloration worsened and he started to gasp for air.

It was then decided that, the mother shared the remaining seconds of the baby’s life, with him on his bed, on a cold, windy, starry night in the priceless duvet of her mother’s arms.

Beep sensed the reaction, took a few bows and left the scene – returning no more.

A minute later, the baby died, in the arms of her mother. I had no option than to console her, reminding her life had a purpose and everything happened for a reason. “Transfer body to the morgue” my pen concluded, making a diagnosis of Patau Syndrome.

Time check 11:30pm.

A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years, and in your heart until the day you die.”

-Mary Mason

Pregnancy is a special and crucial period for any woman. This is the time, she needs every possible care to ensure her health, and the health of her baby are perfect.

Advice any pregnant woman to visit the clinic regularly, take the prescribed drugs judiciously and avoid herbal preparations which could adversely affect her and the baby. The world needs a better you with everyone in it.

#SayNoToHerbalPreparations.

Thanks for reading.

Eliezer

PSALMS FROM A JADED HEART

There are times I want to detach the strings of my heart from yours – but you never let go. I have despised you, denied your presence, mocked your essence and even denounced You, but you held me tight. Things slipped away and did not go my way, but you still waved when i faltered.

You are a God who wants to be my friend and yearns to be my friend. You want every breath of mine to be filled with a talk from You.

You have made me understand I do not need any groundbreaking rituals and floor splitting ceremonies just to get to know You.

There’s no need to rant the Bible like a clanging cymbal or a resounding brass if I do not have the spirit of love. Even in the quiet moments of meditation, You are right here with me.

You cleansed my scarlet stained life and made it as a white as snow.

You ousted the spirit of addiction and restored Your spirit of love.

You bridged the gap by dying on the cross to pay for my froth.

You mounted that pillar of hope, when friends crushed my life.

You embalmed me with the incense of grace to finish the race.

You split the veil from top to bottom just to give me that confidence to approach your throne without fear and trembling.

You filled my mouth with a new song of praise.

You saved me from the wiles of evil when shame had been projected out of me.

You have clasped me and held me in your hands like a priceless gem.

Who would comprehend why a God like you, would want a friend like me?

I lost my way; groping in the dark and faltering in stark dust, but you brought me back to you by calling out my name in the secret places.

You raised me up from the shadows of affliction and the meadows of depression.

It is difficult to fathom how an invisible and perfect God can love a finite and fallible being like me.

Help me review Your word of truth!

Help me meditate on Your word day and night. My soul longs for You!

You cherish the daily devotionals I learn from you, the appointments I schedule with you and the conversations I engage in with You.

You advise me against using a great multiplicity of words in prayer, just to show off; teaching me how to pray from the heart.

You wish I would turn common places into communion places just to dine with You.

I desire to understand every secret of this life you have hidden from me, a mere mortal.

I desire to speak to you through this prayer and hear your voice today.

Knowing you and loving you would forever be my greatest privilege!

Eliezer

IN SYNC WITH THE SPIRIT?

I woke up today with the desire to know more about the Holy Spirit. How could I increase my relationship with him better and better with each passing day?  Growing up I was introduced to the concept of the Trinity – Three persons in one body. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s power in action, his active force. I was led to read a sermon by C. H Spurgeon in 1866, which talks about praying in the Holy Spirit. These are things I learnt, and believe are worth sharing.

The righteous build themselves up in their most holy faith and keep themselves in the love of God, when the ungodly are mocking, speaking great swelling words and chasing after their ungodly lusts. The ungodly man bears bitter bile in his mouth while the Christians lips drop the virgin honey of devotion. As the spider is said to find poison in the very flowers from which the bees suck honey, so do the wicked abuse to sin the same mercies which the godly use to the glory of God. When the wicked grow wicked, it is reckoned that we become more holy, more prayerful, more devout and desire to serve the Lord with everything we have.

Faith carries prayer in her arms, and prayer draws life from the breast of faith. Prayer then builds an altar and lays the sacrifice and the wood in order, and then love, like the priest brings holy fire from heaven and sets the offering in a blaze. Faith sees the Savior, prayer follows Him into the house, but love breaks the alabaster box of precious ointment and pours it on His head. Far seeing Hope climbs the staircase which faith has built, and bowing upon the knees of prayer looks through the window which love has opened. And sees the Lord Jesus Christ coming in His glory and endowing all His people with the eternal life which is to be their portion. The man who abounds in faith would surely abound in supplication.

Prayer is of many sorts. But prayers for others has to be multiplied as much as prayers for ourselves, otherwise we make the mercy seat become a place for the exhibition of spiritual selfishness. Prayer can be public or private, vocal or mental, protracted or short – just as the Spirit leads. Prayer may be salted with confession, or perfumed with thanksgiving: it may be sung to music, or wept out with groans; as many as are the flowers of summer, so many are the varieties of prayers. Amazingly, as diverse as the forms of prayer are, there are all in one respect, if they are acceptable with God.

Any form of prayer that is not in sync with the Holy Spirit is in the flesh, and the Bible says those in the flesh cannot please God. Thoughts which emanate from the flesh cannot please God, because they are defiled and marred. The seed of acceptable devotion must flow from heaven’s storehouse. Only the prayer which comes from God can go to God. Therefore, we must shoot the Lord’s arrows back to Him and desire what He has written upon our heart will move His heart to bring down a blessing.

On the day of Pentecost, when the apostles were gathered in one place, the Holy Spirit descended, and settled on their heads. Their tongues were touched with fire that they began to speak different languages acknowledging the fact that manifestation of tongues was a sign of the Holy Spirit. I would like to draw you to the attention, that people mocked them when they were praying in different languages because they thought the spirit filled ones were intoxicated from alcohol. People might mock us because of how incongruent, ‘imperfect’ or ‘one way’ our tongues are, but we should not be dismayed. When we align ourselves with the Spirit and concentrate on his goodness, mumbling the words God lays on our lips, the heavens tremble!

He takes notice of our frailties and our failures in the work of supplication, He sees His child fall as it tries to walk, and marks the tears with which it bemoans its weakness. He teaches the ignorant how to pray, and strengthens the weak with His own strength. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities, making intercession for us with groans that cannot be uttered.

The Holy Spirit is actually willing to help me to pray, that He will tell me how to pray, and that when I get to a point where I am at a pause and cannot express my desires, He will appear in my extremity and make intercession in me with groans which cannot be uttered. He never reads our petitions according to the outward utterance, but according to the inward groans. He notices the longing, the desiring, the sighing and the crying. If prayer is wafted to heaven in the song of the multitude, with the swell of glorious music, it is not one whit more acceptable to God than when it is wailed forth in the bitter cry of anguish from a desolate spirit.

Our new born spirit has a certain degree of power in it, but its power is never fully manifested or drawn out except when the Spirit of God quickens our spirit and excites it to activity. Even though our spirit prays, it is overshadowed and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Come to the throne of grace intelligently, understanding what it is that you require, pray for that which God moves you to pray for and be very sensitive of the Holy Spirit’s influence. His faintest breath can cause a ripple upon the sea of our soul and make it move as the Spirit would have it.

May we be led high state of sanctification when God the Spirit and our own inward spirit are perfectly in accord. May we be enriched with the good things we patiently wait for in accordance with the will of God. May we worship God in spirit and in truth and realize that He is a rewarder of they that diligently seek Him.

God bless you for reading. Have a happy Sunday and please share what you learnt in church today.

Eliezer

DUTY OF CARE

I was listening to the morning show on the radio yesterday. I was glued to my seat because the topic then being discussed was an interesting one. It was a narrative of how a 28 year old man had reported to the hospital for simple appendectomy (surgical procedure to remove the appendix) resulted in extensive third degree burns to his abdomen, waist and knees. A procedure scheduled to last 10minutes by a very skilled surgeon, inadvertently left the man being discharged from the hospital with severe complications.

The cause of this was from a malfunction of a diathermy machine (a machine which utilizes electric current to either cut through tissues, or to cauterize (burn/close) small blood vessels to stop them from bleeding.

This had happened at Ridge Hospital some months ago and left the patient admitted for several months, inspite of the medical condition he came with.

I become worried because this wasnt an expected complication. Checks were seemingly not done before the surgery. Was this the first time the diathermy machine was used? Who has to perform such checks? Doctors? After the surgery, he recuperated from the appendicitis 2 days afterwards, but the appalling state of his wounds warranted the desideratum for his daily dressings, that he spend months on his hospital bed.

According to him, he hardly saw his doctor around because of his busy surgical schedules. Surprisingly, the nurses neglected him without exception. He thus wondered the responsibility of care he had to be offered. To make matters worse, he had spent of a lot of money on drugs and hospital bills that he had run out of money.

Later, the hospital assumed responsibility for everything that had happened and paid him back every penny he had spent; but the scars still lingered.

A lot of people have openly lashed out at us with concerns on the state of health care in the country. On my recent facebook post, a user suggested the relatives of the patient sue the doctor who failed to perform adehiolysis– a surgery intended to improve the condition termed frozen abdomen in my previous post.

A lawyer well versed in medical knowledge, was then invited on the show, to inform the populace on measures they could take, if they questioned the health care rendered by a health care practitioner. According to him, before any consent form was signed, the patient of a sound mind, or a close relative had to agree to the procedure and be informed of the risks involved. In addition, they were supposed to know the complications to expect after the surgery and finally, where to report to, if things went wrong.

I literally laughed in my head, when the long list was metered out by the lawyer. Indeed, that was standard practice! I recall the first time, I asked a patient to sign a consent form for surgery. I was interrupted mid-way as I was explaining the procedure to him, not because he did not understand the language being used. He said he was going to die one day, whether he consented to the surgery or not. He did not give me the opportunity to proceed further because He was of the firm belief that his life was his and no one else’s. “Health care knowledge cant be forced! Stop talking!” As rude as he was, i hurriedly took back the paper because I was relieved that I had enough time to attend to the fifteen patients who were yet to be seen to that day.

My next session was hilarious, you should have seen me trying to explain to an 80 year old woman; who has never sat in a classroom; how a tumour of the pancreas had obstructed the flow of her intestinal contents, and the fact that she needed surgery to get better. The relatives of the patient requested she was discharged the next day because they had heard of a miracle man who could melt “stomach things” just by the touch of his hands. Further explanation fell on their stony dull ears. They brought a letter requesting for her discharge the next day.

I wont pull out the many encounters we have had with patients, but it is with unmarred patience that, we as doctors endure this profession. Many people see the labcoat and think we sleep and wake in a bed of riches, oblivious of the things we go through physically and emotionally.

They are amnesic to the fact of how it feels when your wife does not see you in 3 days? Blind to how it feels when your sleep is interrupted at 1am by the patient who is pouring his bowels out at home; right after you have returned from duty? Incognizant to how it feels when you are attacked in the middle of the night with knives because your duty could not afford you the luxury of getting home early. Inattentive to how it feels to empty your pockets everytime your duty of care conscience probes you to give willingly.

This is not the time to apportion blame, or direct fingers; as to whether the government has provided the necessary things needed to optimize health care, or unbalanced doctor-to-patient ratio which has rendered health care suboptimal. I believe it all starts at the bottom – the mass! We have to join hands as individuals to move the nation forward; by understanding things that could adversely affect our health, we have to know when to report to the hospital for health care, and know how to help doctors to help our own selves.

Its astonishing how doctors spend a majority of their time in the hospital, but so little time in church; but believe healing comes from God. There are many instances we have to gallop out from church service, just to ensure we keep the patient, on the hospital bed, who is near death, alive!

Before you lash out at any doctor or health care practitioner, please take the time to ask questions, clarify your doubts and keep a clear conscience; and not just fling insults at us, because you were treated unfairly by a doctor.

We as doctors have sworn the Hippocractic oath to make the lives of our patients our topmost priority. We are of the firm avowal, going against an oath like this carries many repercussions.

Anytime you go on your knees, pray for that doctor you have not seen yet, who spends 48 hours a day, to complete his shift, completes eight surgeries in a day and beats himself mentally and physically, that the inmates under the umbrella of his care, get well.

Pray for God’s supernatural strength for him and the mental capacity to take care of any person, with the same love and compassion. Because we, as doctors, are also human!

Eliezer