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

FROZEN ABDOMEN

He was the talk of the news which kept every radio and tv station grimacing to the utterance of his name. How he rose to such fame was unknown by all and sundry.

He was known in the entertainment industry as “the Pop”. I had access to him because we were connected by blood – After I had a spill on my glove as i tried to take a blood sample from his vein.

He had built a huge mansion for himself, kept family on the outskirts of his life and surrounded himself by the people he thought loved him; neglecting the same people who had been with him, as he sprawled in the sands of poverty and the air of nothingness.

In this mansion, he had a wedded wife, with who God had blessed with three fine daughters. His daughters were his pride that he held them in amour-propre, ensuring they had the best of education by enrolling in one of the top schools in the country.

As the weeks went by, he came across a very strange inheritance as his value kept soaring- another woman; who would satisfy his passion, in the absence of the other woman and her daughters. The woman who would sift through the bits and pieces of his hefty bank account with her extravagant living; leeching it as she toured the luxurious restaurants and shops in town; raiding them through the cold touch of her mouth and hands.

Church was a wisp to his ears now. He spent his Sunday mornings either dining at expensive food joints with his new found friends, or offsetting from the exquisite wines he had consumed the previous night. To him, luxury was acquired through sheer persistence and hardwork; and so he didn’t realize the need to give attribution to God, abstracting the fact that his sixth phone which kept notifying him of his bank account alerts was his own idol.

He bought himself a gym at home because he loved to watch her wife run on the treadmill- to develop quick feet to run away from home with her daughters sooner or later.

It was all a matter of time, he was hit by the knuck chuck of fate and destiny. He presented to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. His abdomen kept getting bigger and bigger with the glissade of time. He had not emptied his bowels in a week, and spewed everything he ate; surprisingly, containing blood every time.

He sojourned different hospitals with the aim of recovery, but he was unlucky.

On 28th May 2015, there he was, on the hospital bed, on the verge of death. He couldnt control his tears as he divulged his past. He had sold his mansion and cars to pay off his hospital bills and lost quite a considerable amount of weight. Sadly, he had no asset to pass down to his family, just a bucket of tears.

His friends had foreseen this and blacklisted his contact number. The only people he had close to his hospital bed was his lovely wedded wife, and his three daughters who visited him day and night.

It was decided he endured the last of the surgeries; to relieve the plague, obstructing his intestines.

Everything was set for the final day after he had undergone prior lab tests. He had the notion of returning to normal after enduring this “last and only surgery”. Little did he know what would stare at the face of his surgeon.

Following this, I wanted to be in the operating room to observe how things would transpire.

On that day, the man was laid on the table and put to sleep. His abdomen was wiped clean give the surgeon the green light to cut and tie, with his doubled-up white gloves.

15mins into the surgery, the surgeon frustrated, was closing up the skin – “Surgery unsuccessful, it is a frozen abdomen.” The sound of the word frozen sent chills down my abdomen.

The tumour of his stomach had spread to involve the whole of his abdomen thereby, leaving him with a condition called “frozen abdomen” that would make further surgical intervention dangerous.

He was sent to the ward, and managed palliatively, until he went back to his Maker.

Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in the world, and it remains difficult to cure, primarily because most patients present with advanced disease. Unfortunately, only a minority of patients with gastric cancer will be cured of their disease.

Signs and symptoms of gastric cancer include the following:

1. The feeling of fullness right after eating.

2. Loss of appetite.

3. Vomiting, which could contain blood.

4. Passing feces which are blood stained.

In the late stages, there could be weight loss, breathlessness and jaundice.

Things that can increase your chance of developing a gastric cancer include smoking, obesity, eating very salty food, having an ulcer of your stomach and lastly, when someone in your lineage has been diagnosed of a gastric cancer.

Cancer of the stomach can extend to obstruct your intestines. It can also cause the “frozen abdomen” by invading the structures in your abdomen; thereby sticking them together like a freezer. I know you didn’t see the rhyme.

When you present to the hospital and gastric cancer is confirmed, it is important to start treatment right away, to prevent further spread and early death. Treatment could include surgery to remove the tumor, and the use of radiation and drugs to kill the tumour cells.

Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your chances of having stomach cancer, but there is no guarantee you can prevent it.

Exercising, reducing salty food intake, and consuming fruits and vegetables are known to protect against gastric cancer so stay safe for a better tomorrow!

Eliezer

#DoctorDiaries

LANGUAGE

Language is one of the most cognitive functions any individual can possess. It is an indirect mark of power; whatever you say can make you and break you.Language entails the ability to comprehend what you are being told, and the ability to express yourself. Children who experience language problems may have difficulty understanding what they are being told, interpreting what they hear and following instructions and explanations.

Being able to express yourself depends on your artillery of vocabulary in combination with the skill to produce the needed word to construct a meaningful sentence at any given time. Speech production difficulties include problems affecting the ability to flow between words, the ability to articulate and word naming. Some children have problems with forming a sequence with similar words, others find it difficult to control the speed and rhythm at which their words flow. Their speech may be inappropriate in tone, incongruent and hesitant- stammering between words.

Sometimes, there are problems with word retrieval, which implies they are unable to find the exact word when needed. A handful of the children also find it difficult to construct sentences, organize narratives and use grammar acceptably. With others, their problem stems from their with phonetic background, which adversely affects their reading ability, writing and mathematics.

Some children with semantic problems have trouble learning the meaning of words, thus are likely to use words out of context (not contest).

Language weaknesses can interfere with the ability to recall concepts learnt in the contest areas, such as sciences and social studies courses which entails the processing and utilization of abstract concepts. All academic skills are largely taught through language therefore it’s not surprising that a majority of children with language problems underperform academically. This can even affect the how the kids socialize.

Interestingly, children who possess very strong language skills are able to use their linguistic ability to compensate for any academic problems.

In approaching a child with disordered language, it is important to identify what is causing the speech problem and tackle it appropriately.

The first step in evaluating the problem is to rule out a hearing problem. If no hearing issues are found, you can seek an evaluation from a speech therapist. A speech therapist can work one on one with your child to build his vocabulary and improve his grammar.

Also if the child has emotional difficulties as a result of language issues, you might want to consider psychological help.

However, what you can do as a parent at home is to communicate with your child as much as you can. Listen to your child, give your child ample time to respond and resist the temptation to fill in the silence.

It is noted that Some kids with language disorders may also have related conditions which includes dyslexia, ADHD, and mental health disorders, so seek help for the child now!

Eliezer

HEALING

I have come across different people, rich and poor, from different walks of life; either being wheeled into the emergency department, or strolling across the out patient department – All in search of one thing – A healing hand.

In consulting room, one day I came in contact with a 56 year old woman, who complained of the sudden yellowish discoloration of her eyes, some months ago; with associated symptoms of vomiting, and pain in her abdomen. Her question was “Would I get healed?”

A 58 year old man came to the consulting room on a different day. He appeared a bit confused, and had sustained weakness of his left arm and leg, as a result of a hit he had to his head , a couple of months ago. He kept blabbering until her wife posed the question “Would he get healed?”

A 26 year old man was rushed to the emergency department because he did not make complete sense, anytime he uttered a statement; he was not oriented in time, person and place even though his consciousness was not impaired; this was not from intoxication with alcohol/ drugs nor was it from overflow of the Holy Spirit, but just an imbalance of brain messengers. His parents watch sadly as he is given the first shot of injection to calm him down – after he had been tied to the bed. His parents then ask, Would he get well?

A 2 year old girl was rushed to the emergency department, some few minutes before my shift ended; having continuous seizures. The gyrations being brandished by the child, stripped her mother of her morality, that she reported to the hospital with her towel around her waist, in a swift, asking if her child would get well?

A 44 year old woman was seen in the consulting room with complaints of severe pain in both knees; which kept radiating to her thighs. Her last resort was the hospital, because the different prayer camps she had been to, had already failed her; and made the pain worse. The different concoctions she had ingested, caused a myriad of complications that you never imagined. She’s before you today, Doctor. Would she get well?

A 15 year old boy, exploring youthful buoyancy, fell off the back of a big tricycle he had lodged on, with the prospect of getting a fast ride back home. The fastest ride he had was in the back of an ambulance. Quite an unusual mechanism of injury ensued; he hit his head on the hard coated ground after he was ejected of the tricycle. As a sequel – breaking his skull and injuring his brain (evidenced by leaking of brain matter through the hole on his forehead. As you hurriedly bring the consent form required for surgery, his mother looks down on his son and looks back at you in the eye, and ask “Would my son ever return back to normal?”

They have questions.. we all do have questions? But who actually does the healing? It is the doctor you are entrusting your life to? Or God, who has already began the healing process, waiting for you to ask- so it’s granted. Jeremiah 30:17 says He would give us back our health and heal our wounds, once we ask.

It is not the Creator’s purpose that we shall be burdened with pain, nor his great plan for us be curtailed by disease.

I have seen many miracles happen for which I would not cease to give him the praise. Your life is a testimony, my life is a testimony. When you wake up to a new day, do not think it is something expected. There are so many people who passed on during their sleep. It is through mercy and grace, you are alive.

When you have breath and life, please give thanks to your Creator; for He is the one who heals your disease – Your healer!

Enjoy the rest of your day

Eliezer.

THE BUS ENCOUNTER

08:00am – 10/05/2018

I found myself at the STC yard with the aim of traveling from Kumasi to Accra to spend the month there with family and friends.

Double checked my ticket number – it had the number 005 on it. But I had numbered six people who were already seated in this bus. To my surprise, A lady then, at an arms breath, said the seat I was looking for, was right close to hers; after inquiring of my ticket number.

The black dress she wore, together with the resemblance she shared with an older woman and a younger boy, also in black, drew my attention. So I assumed they were related.

I pitched my seat close to her and asked of her name. “Judy”, she said scanning my face. I also had to introduce myself, like I was a journalist about to take notes with my Ipad.

Her reason for being on the bus was to travel for a funeral. I was fixated by the incessant complaints about the state of the bus, and the fact that this particular one did not have a urinal and good seats. This was my first time in such a bus, so I just observed, unable to give comments.

The bus set off, after she had told me this was her 60th time in a bus. I hid my surprise when I counted the number of journeys I had embarked on, with the fingers in my head…1, 2, 3…5. 60/5 is 12! ( I did my best not to subtract).

Where she worked, was as a Structure and Development planner, in a very remote part of Ghana. In addition, she made several comments about the poor sitings of many buildings in Ghana.

I was awed by the amount of knowledge she showcased! Before I realized, she was talking about the benefits of several fruits and vegetables I knew nothing of.

Her next demonstration, was the fact that she could tell, a person had contracted HIV from his/her presentation and her buttress on the fact that HIV was punishment from God. Symptoms described by her included: intractable Diarrhea,generalized skin rashes which did not respond to conventional treatment, and sores in the mouth and throat. However, I challenged her that, God did not punish people but we humans, brought bad things to our lives.

I decided not to introduce myself further, not to take over the topic because I enjoyed the demonstration. Ignorance isn’t bliss but knowledge is!

It got to the point where I had to explain things further to her to clear the air – that the progression from HIV to AIDS varied for everyone, and that antiretrovirals taken, delayed the progression of HIV. I wasn’t going to let her steal the show.

The next topic, was about her- the fact that she was hated because she had chosen to be different from the women in her community. She had the affirmative not to dress in any provocative way, and indulge herself in any gossips and idle talk – for which she was branded with the “Not being sociable and friendly” caption. However, she wasn’t bustled, because she could predict that would happen. “Illiteracy is a disease” she continued.

When she alighted, I realized we had spoken close to five hours in the bus. She hoped to further her education, and seek a work transfer from her location. I wished her the best of luck as I continued my journey.

Trust me, I was pleased and enlightened, not just from her beauty but her brains. And how she had dared to be different from everyone else.

This brings me to the question- How do you dare to be different? How do you set yourself apart from God? Being set apart from this world doesn’t imply we can’t have fun, but not to indulge in the sinful activities of this world.

In Him, we are holy. Therefore, we must allow our lives to echo our appreciation and love for the great price that was paid for us on the cross of Calvary for our sins.

Not only should we set ourselves apart by our lifestyle, but we should set ourselves apart by getting away to be alone with God in prayer. God desires an intimate relationship with us.

1 Peter 2:9 says, we are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very priced possession.

It also goes ahead to brace the point in Deuteronomy 14:2, that we have been set apart as holy to the Lord. For he has chosen us from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

Part company with parts of your lifestyle that prevent you from seeking Jesus with your whole heart. Take a hard look at how much time you spend in prayer and Bible study versus other, far less important activities, and realize the need to reconnect with your Father in Heaven.

When you live a set-apart life, you’ll likely encounter antagonistic responses from others who are disquieted with the extent of your faith. Don’t be derailed or perturbed by persecution. Live your life to please God, not other people.

God bless you for reading!

Eliezer.

PEACE OF MIND

What is the most valuable thing in your life? Multi million dollar question! I was talking with a friend recently, who told me everything in this world is vanity. This statement happened because she had seen me in a black shirt with the image of my grandfather embossed on the front. She stated that we would all die one day, irrespective of the number of good deeds we had accomplished, the number of mansions we had built, and the amount of accolades we had won. This world made her feel empty and kicked, that she wondered if it is all worth it?

This has got me doing a lot of thinking lately about my purpose in life and what I value most. I am deciding not to ponder over so many unnecessary things anymore, but let the direction of God take its natural course in my life. I have also realized that being in sync with the spirit of God, draws Good to your life.

My next question, I asked her was, what she valued most, with the exception of her life. The least answer I expected was salvation. She valued her salvation!

What does it mean then to be saved? It implies one has to freed from impending danger. We have watched a countless movies, where a superhero appeared just in the nick of time, to prevent a calamity from happening – then back in primary school, I remember running around, carrying my football on my head thinking it was the globe- funny me, with no concern at all, oblivious of how big and wide the world was.

Are we saved thoroughly as long as we firmly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Or it requires a lot more? I believe someone saved neglects his own will, and walks in the will of God, with living faith as his steps.

Interestingly, a reply I had from another friend in response to the most important thing in life was her relationships- family and friends ;the feeling of knowing someone thought constantly about her and cared for her in every way possible. How sweet?! Our relationships, she thought are the fundamental building blocks and most important thing in the world.

I knew I would have gotten different answers if I kept asking different people. But his fast paced world seems to be moving in the direction of acquisition of a lot of things, that would fade away with time- wealth, property and fame. These things are short lived, and provide us with momentary happiness. There are a countless number of times I have envisioned myself becoming a top doctor, cruising around with the latest ride in town. But is that what God wills for me?

Honestly, I think the most important thing in life is to have inner peace; with enough understanding and knowledge to keep my mind strong in the face of discord. Not to constantly ruminate about my past experiences nor cogitate my future aspirations.

Close your eyes for a minute! Imagine yourself in a green meadow with blue skies- a world spiced with the bright colors of life; with birds chirping over your head to the sound of a melodious tune which has played in your heart for ages; and the knowledge that God has got you inscribed in the palm of his hands.

Next, Imagine a fountain flowing with milk and honey at the centre of this meadow pouring out complete goodness and love.

Lastly, imagine, all the people you love, in white gowns, coming in your direction with hands held, beaming with smiles. How I yearn for such a day? It is all in the mind!

The Bible says in Philippians 4:6-7 not be anxious about anything, but to be thankful in every situation. And with prayer and petition, present your requests to God. Following that, the peace of God, which transcends our understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

So I’m deciding to take this month away from home to reflect on myself and lay my future bare before my father and Creator. It’s my prayer He moulds me into a priceless instrument for his worthy cause, and let me discover my true purpose in life .

What is your true value in life?

Eliezer

AMANDA

She woke up to a familiar tone from her phone – Beep!  With one eye open and the other half shut, she checked the alarm close to her bedside – 2:25am. She wondered who would send her a text at such a weird hour of the day; hoping it would be confirmation of the paycheck she had earned from her employer. It was the end of the month.

However, she found herself hurrying for a handkerchief, after she had held her phone close to her face for close to a minute. Tears flowed uncontrollably from her face ;It wasn’t a paycheck but a payback for everything she had said and done. The phone giving a few flashes, highlighted the unknown number anytime she took a glance at the message. Looking askance, she wondered what she would have done if she was back in France.

Reporting to work the next day, was a figure with scuffled hair and pulsating eyes. Her pupils were dilated with fear and the fine tremors of her hands made her usual neat work clumsy. She kept turning her head left and right, looking for hidden cameras. Her colleague brought her back to her senses, when she was reminded she was not acting a reality show. But the serial messages did not make sense.

The phone beeped again- What followed was a shallow breath which made her lose the pager in her hand- to fright. She wanted to pay heed to the advice of ignoring the messages, but she was scared! It was just like she had her twin in custody, and that she had to follow command within her means, to ensure her sister was bailed out.

The message read “You are not forgiven, I know what you did and I am telling everyone”. Screenshots of conversations she had engaged in, followed like a thread. This threw her into a frenzy and drove her nuts. She had been tagged with an explosive, patiently waiting for detonation in the hands of her predator. She was scared stiff and did not know what to do, and who to trust. So, she took a cab home.

She is Amanda, A Christian career woman who had gained a lot of fame in the business market recently. She had just began working in a reputable firm, and had the skills and guts required to progress the corporate ladder very easily. She was willing to go above and beyond the sky, for what she stood for, and boy! She climbed the ranks- hitting the position of Chief Finance Officer in the next 3 months. There she worked overtime, making all her field goals attempted and filling any voids in her work. It appeared she was loved by all because she was hardworking, friendly and eager to learn. She was a firm believer of good will, and the fact that hard work paid in huge amounts at the right time. Unfortunately, she had made quite a number of false friends and true enemies.

Inadvertently, she had raised the eyebrows of quite a number of suitors from every mansion and den. She wouldn’t pass by without necks being turned and glasses dropping. Ceramics in restaurants were even knocking their heads anytime she passed. Her hair was silk stranded, long and dark, flying with any slight breeze of wind. Her glasses were state of the art- designed to conceal her beautiful features. Her eyebrows and lips? Darn!! Enough of the imagination, Reality beckoned.

It was a cold, blustery night so she didn’t expect anyone to be out in the car park but then, she found a note plastered on the windscreen of her car. She was thrilled at how the person could have evaded the parking lot cameras and sent her the blackmailing message. This sent chills down her spine; so she left her car behind, and took a cab to her best friend’s place, to narrate everything that had happened over the past few days and seek a safe haven for the night.

Chris, her childhood friend, sensed the terror in her eyes when he opened the door on her arrival. She was soothed with a cup of coffee and slow dazzling music- soft spot. When she had calmed down, they tried to narrow down the suspects but tallying the people she had met recently with the contact she had, just to find the missing link.

Not surprising, Chris dialed the number. phone off. He then tried to access the number from the phonebook directory on his phone.the number was registered, however such classified information warranted the nod of a number of signatories. She spent the night at Chris’s, hoping to unravel the identity of the mystery man the next day.

6:00 am the next day, she awoke to a welcoming breakfast in bed with a ‘best of luck’ note from Chris. She showered down and set off, ready for the day.

Then, the phone beeped! With a message from Chris this time. “Meet me at the parking lot, I have something to tell you. We have found our person. It is Esi Akoto!”

Right afterwards, the phone beeped again, she hurriedly swiped the screen, like her life depended on it, hoping the message would be from Chris but then, it was another blackmail message. “Send 5000 Ghana cedis to the stated account number or everyone would know what you did”. She would have brushed the message off, had it not been for the numerous intimidating photos that followed.

An hour after meeting Chris, she had no time to waste; she picked up her phone and dialed the ‘known’ digits of her former best friend.

Esi was her classmate, throughout primary school to the world of work where she was her colleague. They basically did everything together which included exchanging phones for a week or two, to sharing the same desk at work. Their friendship, however grew sour, when Esi’s boyfriend dumped her and went after Amanda, some months ago. What killed her was that fact that Amanda had a new office of her own with her name written boldy on the door while she still worked at the front desk.

Amanda had asked of her help a countless times, anytime she got to work distressed, but Esi always had a cool head; feigning signs of concern and love.

“Can I come and spend a few days with you? I’m so scared!” Amanda said, over the phone, when she had already packed her things for a week. “You know my house is always your house” Esi replied, smirking on the other side of the phone.

The next 2 hours, Amanda found herself at the doorstep of her friend’s house. Esi’s welcoming smile made her swallow a gulp and clench the backpack she had brought along. ‘Friends!!’  She thought, as she entered the house.

Amanda took a seat, and examined the room; it looked like recent renovations had been done. The internal décor looked fresh and brand new. ‘The girl must be making a lot of money out of me’ she thought, as Esi returned from the kitchen.

Lodging her seat right beside her, she listened attentively to Amanda’s ordeal, shedding tears a number of times, until the message got to the point- “I have found who she is”

Esi stole a glance at her friend, whose demeanor had changed now. Guilt fell on her face when she attempted to ask who the blackmailer was. However, what mirrored her face was a 3mm gun in the hands of her ‘best friend’

“Why me? Esi? Why me?? After all these years. Why?” Amanda cried, holding the gun up close. Esi was dumbfounded.

Then she leapt, in an attempt to seize the gun from her hands. In shock, Amanda pulled the trigger, landing a bullet on her chest with a resounding blast.

Esi let out a scream, and landed on her own carpet in a thud, covered in blood. Realizing the harm caused, the gunwoman attempted to stop bleeding but then, how do you stop bleeding from a ruptured vena cava, when you are not a cardiothoracic surgeon? Her last words were “I did it out of jealously and envy” and she kicked the bucket. Like a staged play, Amanda fainted.

9:00am, Amanda found herself in her bed, with a towering figure over her. Surprised, she wondered how she got to her room and why she was still in a night gown. It took a minute before she made out Esi; in her executive dress. “Amanda!! I’m quitting my job if you aren’t fired today. I called your phone a couple of times, so I had to come over to see if you were okay”

Amanda shook her head a couple of times, wondering if this was real. It was then she realized it had had a nightmare she could not wake up from.

“Thank God it was all a dream” she said as she hugged Esi, hurriedly showered, and got ready with breakfast, as her best friend ironed her clothes.

The End!!

PhotoCredit: Google Images

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim.

EMBRACE

At 03:09 a.m., glimmers of light streamed across my ward cubicle, as the main door of my hospital room opened. It wasn’t unusual to see a nurse come and go at any hour. I remained wide awake as I found no peace or rest from the inner turmoil I was facing.

My previously “nearly perfect life” was wrecked by the cruel intrusion of stage 2 breast cancer. I could not understand how this had happened, to begin with. Mike and I had been happily married together for the last 15 years, and we had three sons of the ages of 3, 10 and 13. We were planning to move to a new home, which Mike had custom-built for the five of us.

Anyways, one day following a mastectomy, I tried “picking up the pieces” in regards to my breaking life, and simply trying to analyze how to best cope with this new turn of events.

The nurse who had entered my room had a familiar face. I had known her from church, a place where she always appeared both quiet and reserved. And for some reason, our lives had never intersected outside of the occasional crowded church foyer greetings. We’d maybe say “Hello”, and that was it.

But on a particular night, she happened to be the one assigned to take my vitals. She did something beyond extraordinary and completely unexpectedly —- pulling up a chair to sit by my bedside. My left ventricle contracted pushing blood through my eyes.

Without uttering a word, she took my hand. For the next five minutes, she held it in calm silence. Her very presence was so sensitive that I cried away every last word and remained 100 % speechless, not knowing how to respond.

Others, of course, had previously offered several encouraging — and even often clumsy —- words and well wishes when I was admitted at the hospital. Some went to the extent of even leaving behind a novel, for me to read, which, to me, meant absolutely nothing in such a dark hour-When death kept barging on my door.

But this special lady, instead, gave me something significantly more invaluable: a gentle touch that made everything get better, by providing the gift of understanding through human presence.

With her, I did not struggle to hold any conversation or simply make excuses for why this terrible thing could have happened to me. With her silence, she would simply let allow my soul to rest as she then gave me a supernatural comfort with each kind touch. It felt so heavenly; like I had a healing angel holding my hand, enveloping me with the weight of her full, miraculous love. Words alone cannot fully express this —- you have to have lived it to understand.

Later, those dark days came to an end, and the breast cancer went back into its bud. My life had moved on — one filled with a great family, wonderful friends and a bright future.

I never saw this nurse again when I returned to church, and asked around for her by mentioning her first name. To my surprise, the other church members — and even the church staff — had no recollection of her, when I described her to them.

Very little did I know that God would have sent me a miraculous angel at the hospital, a deep compassion that took root with the embodiment of one sweet nurse.

As a result of this encounter, my husband and I have told this story, even several years later, in an effort to help all women who have no means with which to help themselves be free of breast cancer, once and for all, just as I am.

Why do we, as imperfect human beings, so often feel that we need to fill our atmosphere with mere words, as if everything we’d say would make things “all right”?

Next time you encounter someone battling breast cancer, kindly commend the person for being a fighter. You could start by observing their needs ;Then, reach out with a sincere touch of affection. You never know what could happen from a touch of your hand.

In my case, it became nothing short of a miracle.

Eliezer.

#DoctorDiaries

THE ZEPHYR

Tick, tock, tick tock, Michael counted the clicks, as death flashed a light as he strolled by. He attempted to avoid death’s gaze by looking left and right but the beam directly fell on his face in whichever direction he turned his head. He couldn’t escape today. There was no way He was breaking free from the spider’s web. “Mama!” He called out! But then even He could not hear himself. He lay afloat the sea of desperation and envisioned a raft dancing from a distance.
Then, he heard the gentle sobs of his mother and felt the agonizing heart of his father, as imperceptible hands clenched his cold fingers. His heart skipped another beat on the monitor in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the doctor strenuously pressing on his precordium, forcefully pushing his strong palms against his frail, weary heart.
Every moment happened in succession and his worlds began to drift apart, the broken framework continued to shatter, revealing pieces of the other world, – So beautiful and lovely! The thin thread affixing his soul to his body wavered. With every tick, the thread detached from its fastness and propelled him further downwards. Tick, tock, tick, tock.
There was my hand, fiddling for a pulse, just a single pulse! The sign of a persevering life. His pulse however kept tapping my finger lightly like an oscillating pendulum- So faint and thready.
The story then unfolds, Michael was wheeled in by the nurses after He was triaged a code of red, which meant he had to be seen immediately. He was involved in a road traffic accident, as a restrained passenger, in a top speeding bus. On that day, He was sandwiched between his grandmother and his mother who were seated on his left and right respectively; His two guardian angels. They had said a word of prayer as they set off to their destination. – The airport.
Daddy had returned from a 7 year expedition which earned him the title “Specialist Physician”. He waited patiently for the arrival of his family because he had not set sight on them in a very long time. He longed to see his son; who looked so much like him.
Rewind to the bus, Michael read a bedtime novel he bucked in his backpack before the journey. Mother enjoyed her playlist from her favorite musician –Joe Mettle, and Grannie went back to the blues; keeping her gaze fixed on the moving glass window, seemingly reminiscing the past – the good old times with Papa Mensah. She held back tears, as she aroused her last moments with him – on the hospital bed.
The man writhed in pain and gasped for air, battling so hard to set himself free from the terminal stages of prostate cancer. She clinched her grandson closer retaining the presence of her husband in the boy, Michael.
It all happened in a flash, Misery in motion. Her mother recalls recoiling herself backwards to take a nap, the driver throwing the car in a berserk motion to avoid collision with the big truck, frantic screams, convulsions and gasps from the passengers, in different motions of recovery, from the front to the rear of the car, dilated pupils bracing themselves for impact, rigid flexed knees ready to take a knock for being hard headed, and bloodshot ears which screeched to the sound of the bang.

Fast forward to the hospital, Grandmother, mother and grandson are being wheeled to the emergency department. Michael was in a coma, not responding to command, touch and pain. He was triaged RED and images from his head to his foot were taken.
The head and neck CT scan showed a large bleed on both sides of his brain with associated fractures of the cervical spine vertebrae. A chest x-ray showed serial rib fractures with collection of blood in the right lung and a pelvic x-ray showed widening of the pubis symphysis. He spiked a constant fever of 40.6 which was unresponsive to anti-pyretics. Even his lungs denied the oxygen being impaled through his nostrils.
He then began to deteriorate, very fast! The call was made and pride of doctors surged in. Surprisingly, his father too joined. His pulse glowed faintly and diminished with every shot of adrenaline being pumped in, eventually moving into hibernation. The atmosphere hinted it was his time to leave; the doctors reclined when the zephyr disappeared.
After 30mins of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Michael’s pupils were fixed and dilated; unresponsive to the touch of a cotton wool. There was no respiratory effort and no carotid pulse – The pulse we had fought to bring back.
I gently closed his eyelids and checked the time: 11:25pm. I wished I could have done something more to save his life but then, I had ran out of options and so He had assumed room temperature. I bowed my head as I exited the emergency department breaking the unfortunate news to his uncle. Rest in peace Michael.
#DoctorDiaries

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim.