A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST

If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; all things have passed away, and behold, the new has come. Many people think being a Christian exempts you from the daily struggles and challenges of life. This is not so! In the New Testament, Jesus encourages us to enter the narrow door instead of choosing the most accessible and most convenient option-the broad door. This means we are going to have to make decisions that do not favor us most often all for the sake of dying to ourselves and giving up our lives for others.

We take confidence in the assurance that He will always be in our presence wherever we find ourselves. Even though he is unseen, He continues to work continuously on our behalf by listening to our prayers and performing dumbfounding miracles in our lives which include giving us life and protecting us from harm.

One of the best things that can happen to any individual is the day he comes to the realization of the need to accept Christ as their Lord and Personal Saviour. The Bible says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. This means Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. As stated, He is the only way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through Him. What do we do once we have become Christians? Attain Spiritual Maturity!

Spiritual maturity is something that should be a priority for every Christian. It’s essential in our lives for how we serve God and interact with other people. However, there are levels to spiritual maturity. The Bible describes new believers as feeding on “milk.” We need to come to a point where we are no longer “spiritual babies” but mature into “spiritual adults.” The most important reason is for our lives to reflect the nature of Jesus Christ.

Just as a toddler starts by taking milk before solid, God expects us to grow gradually in our walk with Him. We will often falter and ask for forgiveness, and that is normal. He is a loving father who is always ready to welcome us back to his arms, just like in the account of the Prodigal Son and the parable of the lost shepherd. We have to connect ourselves as branches to the vine and draw our strength from Him for, without Him, we will wither and fall.

Being initiated in him warrants that we have to be baptized. Baptism means we bury our sins with his death and identify ourselves with the most significant act in human history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism in itself doesn’t save us but salvation does, for salvation comes by faith alone. Your guilt before God is removed the moment you trust in Christ. But baptism is your testimony to, and the inward assurance of, your passage from the old life to the new life.

In Ecclesiastes 4:12, The Bible states that “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” It is thus essential that every new believer finds a Bible-believing church and stays rooted in this church. The more he feeds on God’s word and stays connected to a community, the better he can stand in faith and extinguish the enemy’s flaming arrows.

Scripture says we should not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another in Hebrews 10:24-25. The church’s physical gathering is a glad and visible expression of its spiritual nature. Believers are, therefore, the called-out people of God, united by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Challenges do happen once in a while. The task of living a fully God-centered life is no walk in the park, as the lives of the greatest and most fully converted Christians who have ever lived—the saints—will attest. Indeed, Christianity lived to the fullest involves struggle. But we take a stand using Romans 5:3-4, which states that “We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Hope is found in the promises God has given us – promises of freedom from sin. We can find so much hope in Scripture through the gift of eternal life made possible through His son, Jesus Christ. No matter what trials, temptations, or pain we may suffer, we can always hold onto the hope God extends to us.

Right now, there are billions in the world who desperately need to hear the salvation message and you are called to share Jesus with them. They are in the nations far off, but also in your office, school, and city. They shop in the same stores you do and work out at the same gym. They are your neighbors, your friends, and your family members. Who could you reach with Jesus’ love today?

Let us enjoy the new life we have found in Christ and focus on the blessings He has promised for His children till the end of time.

This blog post was inspired by completing a Devotional by Ruben Cunha – New Life in Christ.

God bless you for reading, and have a wonderful day!

WINNING THE WAR IN THE MIND

In my devotion this morning, the story of the battle of Moses with the Amalekites was highlighted as a key text in my Bible plan: Squad Goals. In this war, the tide of the war was being controlled by the hands raised by Moses. The Israelites began to lose any time Moses showed signs of tiredness. However, they won anytime he raised his hands. Just to have a fair advantage, he made two of his friends support him, and eventually, the Israelites triumphed over the Amalekites. My attention was also drawn to a time in history when the Israelites were being chased on their way from Egypt, as they made their narrow escape from Pharaoh.

There were at a crossroads! There was no way either ahead of them, and after their encounters with God, they had decided they were not going back into slavery. Then! God showed up! He instructed the Israelites to be still and watch him be God – The Creator of the Heavens, Earth, and everything in it. He went back into his creation and carried out an edit; just for his people by carving away in the Red Sea so his people could cross to get to the Promised Land. All that it took was for Moses to win the battle in his mind before he could be used by God.

In life, we wage war. The Bible states that there is adversity who roams like a waging lion seeking who he will devour, and he would never stop until he achieves his mission. This means he is already fighting from a position of defeat. So as a Christian, bear in mind that it is easier to rise than to fall because we have the advocate; the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit being part of the Trinity is our mark of salvation till the end of our tenure on earth.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an entire discipline in modern psychology has identified the neural pathways that link our habits to our behavior. As Solomon stated in Proverbs, “As a man thinketh, so is he” We are a total of our predominant thoughts, and our lives steer in the direction of our daily thoughts which transform into our behavior and finally our character. This breakthrough in psychology has identified the solution to many problems, which range from addictions to eating disorders and eventually relationship challenges. A key way of treating these challenges is to deal with the root cause of the problem; which stems from our thinking. Paul tells us that our thoughts shape our lives in Philippians 4:8-9. This means it is expected of us to think about things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, and excellent, and put them into practice.

We can transform the train of our thoughts by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. He is the one responsible for molding and shaping us into his required vessels for his purpose. First of all, we have to disbelieve the lies that the devil has fed our minds with and become rooted in the word of God which is truth. We can then end the vicious cycle of thoughts that are destructive to us and hamper our relationships with others.

The problem with how we attack our problems is that we go after the challenge instead of dealing with its root cause. Like the analogy of a gardener who cuts off a tree branch in an attempt to uproot a tree obstructing access to his house. This method won’t work! Changing a behavior just by removing the behavior is absurd. The neural pathway that leads me to the behavior is the problem. Thus, if you stop a behavior, it will come back.

The only way you can change a behavior is, by removing the lie at the root of the behavior and replacing the neural pathway that leads to the behavior with positive thoughts.

What I have learned from this devotion is the four-pronged principle which helps with removing toxic thoughts patterns and helps us think right.

The first is the Replacement Principle. It is expected of us to know the Bible, listen to Bible teaching, and get God’s word into our hearts so we can wield the sword of truth against the lies of the enemy.

The second is the Rewire Principle. As Christians, we have to be transformed by the constant renewal of our minds, as stated in Philippians. This principle means we have to rewire our brains. God’s word empowers us to break out of old ruts of destruction and latch onto new paths that lead to a prosperous and abundant life. By making constant declarations over your life, you dig new trenches in your life that will speak and inspire you.

The third is the Reframe Principle. Even though we cannot control what happens to us, we can control how we perceive them. We all have cognitive biases that cause us to see things in ways that do not reflect reality. But the power of cognitive reframing changes how we view the past and the future.

The last is the Rejoice Principle. This key principle changes our perspective through constant prayer and praise. Even in the storms of life, we can learn to trust in God who is the pioneer of our faith, and rejoice over troubled waters by staying mindful of his presence. Praying thus changes our brains and gives us peace by deploying angels to work in our stead.

Decide today that you will not think like the rest of the world, and let God transform your thought patterns. Let him strengthen you and empower you to do what He has called you to do. You are more than a conqueror through Christ and He is more than enough. When God changes your thought patterns, he will change your behavior and eventually change your life.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim

SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND THE CHURCH

In recent times, the church has come under constant scrutiny. People have refrained from participating in church activities because they believe that the same people who profess Christ are the same people who engage in unspeakable crimes in our society. In my personal devotion last week, God is beginning to teach me something. This is about how Christianity is not about following the crowd, known as the mass effect, but an individual relationship with God. It takes its pride in being deeply rooted in His word – The Bible. This means to be a practical Christian, the bible should be your guide.

Today I shall delve into spiritual gifts and their essence in the modern-day church. A gift is defined as an endowment, talent, or quality acquired without compensation. This gift is not bestowed on you based on your merits or achievements but freely given to you by a generous father.

Salvation is the hallmark of every Christian, and this is typically attained by professing your faith in Jesus, confessing his Lordship with your mouth and believing with your heart that He came to die for your sins. However, Christianity is a way of life founded on the roots of love and compassion for humanity. For it is by grace we have been saved, and not our works, that we should boast off. Thus the concept of grace itself is a gift.

Spiritual gifts are given by God mainly to edify the church and propagate this word; thus, you are likely to lose if gift if you stray away from either his word or the Christian community. Because we are vessels in the hands of the Potter, he chooses whether He should mend us into that of gold, clay or wood. Also, he expects us to honour him with our gifts if we expect to receive more from him.

Spiritual gifts reflect God’s supernatural ability to show up in our lives in various ways. The gifts are predominantly ministry, manifestation and motivational gifts.

Gifts of ministry work with what believers do to serve others and meet their needs. This is how we minister and administer the love, grace and truth of God to others. The Bible provides a list of these ministering gifts and their purpose. This highlights the roles of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the church in propagating the knowledge of God.

Gifts of manifestation are given for the common good of Christians. To one there is given a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge, to another faith by the same Spirit, to others miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. All these work for the good of all Christians.

Gifts of motivation are how the spirit of grace moves through us motivating our words and actions. This guides the perspective with which we relate consciously with others. If your gifts are to serve, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. If it is to encourage then give encouragement, If it is giving, then give generously. If it is to lead, do it diligently.

Gifts are great, but it is more important to know how to love God. We live because he loved us first, and without love, all the actions supposed to be gifts would be empty.

Have a blessed day!

THE MIND OF CHRIST

It is with the mind that we serve the Lord. The mind is indeed a battlefield. I have realized that in our walk with God we need to be transformed by the renewal of our minds daily. The Christian walk is a life-long journey.  Being a Christian does not make you immune to the normal mood changes that affect people. There are times you will feel angry, happy and sad. But the Bible says it is normal to get angry, but the sun should not set on your anger.  Even in your anger, you should not sin. Do you know how intense this is? We have found people commit acts of betrayal in their bouts of anger. This should not be our portion.

People universally think Christians are timid; probably because the temperament the Holy Spirit fills us with; the temperament of peace and long-suffering. I wonder if there’s anything like that. But we are being encouraged to have the mind of Christ in everything that we do and anyone that we encounter. We should ask ourselves, will our leader act this way if He was in our shoes?  That’s difficult! We should not think of ourselves highly that we should, but be modest in our thinking and judge ourselves according to the measure of faith God has distributed to each of us.

Faith is an important measure in our journey with God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for whoever approaches His throne must believe that He is fully capable of rewarding your action of faith. It is just like knowing an authority figure can help you out with a request and paying a visit to his quarters. It is likely your request might be granted. However, we are being encouraged to be careful of the things that we pray or ask for, because we might get them.

Being a man in our part of the world is not an easy task. We are really taught not to make demands or nag, neither are we taught to express emotions. It is expected of us to employ that stoic attitude no matter the change in tide of whatever circumstances surround us. This subjects us more to intense nervous breakdowns and other debilitating health issues. But who the Son sets free is free indeed. This includes taking our thoughts captive and demolishing any arguments and false pretensions that exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ. This demands that we surrender our entire being to God to be used effectively by Him. From this stance, the battle has already been won, and victory is ours.

The Bible admonishes us not to fight with weapons of this world, but with weapons of the spirit. Before we fight, we are to protect ourselves with the full armor that we can use to extinguish whatever battle tactics are cast our way. The weapons we fight with are mighty through God to pull down strongholds. This includes preformed mindsets that go contrary to the word of God. We are to adopt a mindset of abundance and believe that God can provide for all our needs according to his riches in glory. So ask!

My favorite verse is found in Philippians. “Do not worry about anything, but with everything with prayer and supplication, submit your requests before God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”  This verse has the power to calm me down anytime I feel anxious. With this, I know whether I need rain or shine, I just have to go to the Father in prayer, and his fresh fire shall fall down heaven. For He is the only one who can rain down food on a desert, in the midst of a famine, and pour down his dew when there is a heavy drought. He gives perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm.

Our thoughts define who we are. We have been given an amazing brain which is efficient at multitasking, and this includes thinking. Anytime our thoughts lead us down a spiral, our attitudes follow. Like a car tire stuck in a deep rut of mud, we find ourselves unable to drive out. We are to think positive thoughts and filter out the negative ones; otherwise we become prisoners held captive in a cage of disbelief, believing the lies which affect everything and everyone around us.

We have been given the mind of Christ. This means we are heirs to the throne. To dig out the rut, we have to find scriptures and the truth that helps us overcome the rut of lies. When negative thoughts come, we have to redirect and train our minds to think the right thoughts. Find freedom in the truth and His words and believe they are for you.

Who we allow in our life and personal inner circles affects our gratitude quotient and the type of thoughts we think on a daily basis. Good company always produces good character.

May we find the peace to live out today to the fullest, and be productive in all our endeavors.

Have a wonderful day!

Eliezer

THE LOVE OF THE FATHER

Lately, I have understood that everything in life happens for a reason. It has been orchestrated from the beginning to happen and we are just in alignment with the orchestra, dancing to the tune of the harp and lyre being played. One thing I have begun to imbibe is, the closer you get to God, the closer He gets to you. The way you get to God is by reading, studying and researching His word.

Another thing humans fail to recognize is the omniscience of God. In our dealings with other people, we turn a blind eye to the fact that someone might be watching. King David states in the Psalms. “Where could I go to escape from You? Where could I get away from Your Presence?” He was terrified that every single action of his was being seen and recorded by his best friend. He actually wanted a timeout. I wish it was that easy.

The Bible states that Darkness and Light is the same for the Father and the night is as bright as the day. There comes a time in our life where we have to take that step of Faith, such as changing our jobs, pursuing our passions and choosing a spouse. We usually want a nod from close friends and family before we take that step because we gain confidence from their approval. But with the Father, you need no validation from human beings; because he knows the end from the beginning. Even before you were born, He knew you and allotted the days you will spend on earth in His book before you began numbering your days. Can you imagine the expanse and intensity of your relationship with Him? I doubt you can.

Averagely, a human thinks about 40,000 thoughts a day. There are times where we lose ourselves in our thoughts that someone has to nudge us before we come back to reality. This happens frequently when we encounter a very distressing situation. I have realized that when you get closer to God, he automatically aligns his spirit with yours and scans your mind. Just like a computer’s antivirus, he filters and quarantines the negatives thoughts that keep you awake at night and fills your ear with goodness. Those who are led by God’s spirit are God’s children and by virtue of that, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his children. You begin to emanate glory and favor, and other good things. Then he makes your life a living testimony and guides you in the everlasting way. Even when you walk through the deepest valley, He has promised that He would not leave you. Even through the blasting furnace, He is there with you. Remember the prodigal son? He intends to draw us closer to himself every time.  He does this through real life experiences and subtle conversations with people each and every day. He loves you and will give up whole nations just to save your life. Like the Good shepherd, He will leave the intact ninety-nine just to track and save the lost one.

For eons, human life has been devalued and there is a reason. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy works hardest in letting us believe we have no worth and our lives do not matter. He robs us of our happiness and saps the little joy that we have. Even though we look happy outwardly, we are starving inwardly. The adversity makes us think we are worthless and our lives have no meaning and purpose. But this morning, I need you to reject that lie that has been imprinted in your mind. You are the son/daughter of a King and a child of the most High God. Do you know what this means? You have access to the throne room. As the veil was torn into two, a direct connection was established. All we need to do is go to the Father in the sincerity of our heart and talk to Him, and just like any good Father, He will heed our prayer. “Through salvation our past has been forgiven, our present is given meaning, and our future is secured.

It is important to understand your mission and the purpose for which you were brought to the world. This is your ministry. Your contribution might be saving lives in the hospital, or impacting lives by teaching. Whatever you do, make sure you are doing it to the glory of God.

As you step into today, be rest assured of the favor and glory you carry today. Touch the heart of whoever you encounter today.

Have a wonderful day!

Eliezer

IMPERFECTIONS

In my devotional today, I learnt that community is necessary for growth as a believer. Fellowship is the hallmark of Christians. It is essential that we encourage each other in our day-to day activities and our walk as Christians.

Seeking God is a conscious effort. It is just like growing up. It is normal to fall when you try to walk for the first time. It is more of a journey rather than a destination. Everyone has their misgivings and that is what makes us human. It is totally normal for us Christians to falter sometimes. There is no need to be so hard on yourself. When you sidetrack, kneel and go before God in total reverence to Him. Acknowledge your imperfections and ask Him to strengthen you and give you the grace to continue this walk of Faith. There is no one perfect. Not even one.

Even in your pain and anguish, you know God is keeping you strong and opening new doors for you. It may not be evident, and you may not understand what you are going through. But in the end, it will make sense. Remember you are inscribed in the palm of His hands, He knows your every being and has destined you for great things. New opportunies, better connections and above all grace!

It is through grace you have been saved and not by your own strength. If it had been your strength, trust me, you would have faltered a long time ago.

As you step into today, it is my prayer that He gives you the grace to overcome any obstacle that comes our way. May Joy fill our hearts and mouth. And may favour locate us wherever we find ourselves.

Have a blessed Saturday!

GRATITUDE

Over these last few days, God has been teaching me something about gratitude. In subtle ways about how gratitude is an essential key in our walk with Him.

Over the past few months, I recall correctly, having to go through a very stressful ordeal for which I had to be on a hospital bed for a couple of months. During that period, I wondered why God puts his children through challenging and dire situations. Was it a measure of the test? A gauge of faith? A stepping stone of great things to come? During this period, I pondered countless times in isolation.

But then, after listening to a series of podcasts during this period. I have realised that irrespective of our circumstances, there is nothing as meaningful as showing gratitude irrespective of our current circumstances. For the apostle Paul states in the book of Philippians that. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want.”

This morning I would like to admonish you, irrespective of your current situation; there is nothing more potent than our great God. If he came through for people in times past, remember, He is still the same. He is unchanged. He expects you to leave the past behind and show gratitude for what He has done for you.

Being alive is a miracle you should be grateful for. That incurable medical report? That declining academic report? The financial crisis? My friend, just leave it into His hands. He will come through for you.

I will end with a memory verse from my devotional this morning. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

1 John 5:14 NIV

Have a blessed Friday, Go and be great!

Eliezer

Source: Google Images

A CONVERSATION WITH GOD ABOUT PURPOSE

Hello God, It is me again. Remember Me? I have a question for you. Why do you let your sons and daughters go through hardship, pain and distress in the bid to serve you faithfully? Why do you allow the heathen to make mockery of us and say with their chest there is no God?

If your book says “You know the plans you have for me are of good, why the sleepless nights? The spikes on an already untarred road? Eventualities? Setbacks? Pain And Guilt?

Trusting you was supposed to be an easy one they say. Just have a child like faith and you will move mountains. Why is this mole hill difficult to push aside?

God: Before I formed the foundations of this earth, I knew I had to bring you to earth at an appointed time for a purpose. Your parents might not have planned you but then I did! Because I had great plans and intentions for you. Well! I still do! The journey isn’t easy. Trust me! The road is narrow for a reason but I did not leave you to travel this journey alone. I gave you a comforter, a guide, and teacher and a leader. The Holy Spirit. He is your go-to-guy literally.

When he comes he brings to remembrance everything I have said concerning your life. He is the restorer of all broken dreams and shattered homes. He is a mind fixer, a heart regulator and a game changer.

As far as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours and my intentions greater than yours. You might not understand now, but it’s for a purpose. I’m bringing you to the point where people will acknowledge my presence and say I am the mighty One. The “I Am that I am” The silent, invisible but listening Father. I brought this world into being and I created the stars, moon and earth, together with the people in it.

My compassion and mercies never cease. They are new every morning. In your times of distress, Call on Me and I will answer you.

For those that wait on the Father shall renew their strength, they shall mount up wings like that of eagles. They shall run and never go weary. They shall walk and not faint. For I am their strength.

For whoever is going through a tough season right now, for which it seems there’s no help available at the moment. I would encourage you to be steady and patient and allow Jesus to steer the wheel in your life. Do not let setbacks push you to the point of giving up in your life. Push hard, fight on and press on. Cos help is on the way!

Eliezer

ABOUT CONVICTIONS

I was reading the book of Numbers this dawn about Joshua and Caleb, and I’m not surprised why my uncle Rev Edward Otu named his sons after them. Very courageous people. They were spies that were sent to bring back word to Moses, after surveying the land that had been promised them. Their report was “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.” Good news right? But their identities were at risk.

Being a spy is a dangerous mission. I’m sure you have seen in movies how spies have to disguise their identities, take up fake names, multiple passports just for intel (Classic Lupin style) To be a spy, you have to be trained to have wit, direction discernment and above all conviction. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines conviction as a strong persuasion or belief about a decision, move, direction or ability.

The conviction I would like to emphasize is that from the Holy Spirit. The people were distraught before the news came, because they had uncertainties about the land they were going to possess, but Caleb quieted them and said “We are well able to overcome it because of the conviction He had received from the Holy Spirit – A positive affirmation”

Sometimes the walk of God encourages you to take a very bold step which people might not understand. You might have to be put in places to protect a specific location or person, keep the good in and the bad out, and guard prized possessions. This is what makes you a bold Christian. Because God has not given you the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

Our convictions are like security guards. Put in place to protect our souls, our minds and our spirit. They help us to have wisdom in decision making, courage in complex situations, and give us discernment in relationships. Convictions not only protect our personal lives, but they also protect our reputation, our dreams, our relationships, and our future. When you realize your convictions are guarding your most prized possessions, you become constrained by conviction to protect them. 

When you feel deep within your spirit about something not being right, do heed to the voice of the Holy Spirit, for this conviction comes from Him.

THE FRACTURED FAITH

Hello lovely readers, quite a beautiful Sunday it is. I trust you are all in perfect health? Well yes, I am! This should be my last post for the year. 2020 has been all sort of things right? Tiring? Draining? Amazing? Well, it has been God, this whole time carrying us through and assuring us He would definitely bring us to an expected end. If you are alive, count yourself blessed!

Currently, I am in isolation. By isolation I know you have already figured out what it means. During this period, I have conducted a thorough assessment of the self, and identified what I stand for, my strengths and weaknesses, my likes and dislikes, and ultimately my personality. A lot of amazing things can happen in your life when you come to the realization of self, so I will highly recommend it for anyone battling with self-esteem and confidence issues. Also, I have clearly defined my goals, vision and resolution for the upcoming year. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year despite the persistence of the COVID-19 virus.

We meet people for different reasons in our lives. Some are passers-by, others are acquaintances and colleagues, and others are friends. Identifying this helps you build a solid network and solidify your inner circle. Ultimately the people in our lives should not drain us of the energy we have left. We are supposed to feel uplifted and encouraged just by interacting with them. Bear in mind, everyone’s experience whether good or bad is supposed to have an impact in your life, from which you can draw lessons and experience from.

The story begins with a 17 year old boy in the confines of a hospital bed after sustaining lacerations from a blunt cutlass some days ago. A typical display of biblical dexterity resulted in the admission of one, and the incarceration of the other. This scuffle ensued just because of a misunderstanding in coming into agreement with the word of God. “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.”

This man grew up in a loving home where both of his parents were very supportive of his goals, passion and ambition. It was his childhood dream to be a pilot; to escape the family’s status quo of being a doctor, lawyer or politician.

On his 17th birthday, his parents began to have issues. Issues they didn’t see coming. The man of the house had accepted an appointment from the Ministry of Defense. This meant he would be spending a lot of nights outside home, typically tightening up security in the country. This directly meant a higher pay grade and social recognition in the country. Was the security in his family tightened too? Were the bolts screwed tight?

As private as his wife was, she strongly objected to his decision. But her objection was not enough to change the already made-up mind of her husband. Little did they know their children were already falling into bad company.

One day, Maggie, his wife opened the door that led to the room of their first born son, Kwesi. She was led to go straight to his room after she had finished evening prayers. What welcomed her was a rather unbearable stench, with her son covered completely in smoke. “What are you doing in here, Mum? Couldn’t you have knocked and waited for the door to be opened for you before coming in?” Kwesi said, as he hid the packet of marijuana he had bought the day before under his bed.

Margaret feeling ashamed, slowly closed the door and wondered what had happened to his prayerful son. A boy who did not know how to skip worship and prayer sessions even in his busiest of times. A boy who frowned at any tiniest vice committed with so much hatred. How did he fall within the clasp of marijuana? Might have been from bad friends? The infamous peer pressure!

It was there she came to the realization her family was in shambles. She immediately reached for her phone but put it down, when she remembered her husband could only be accessed through a one way private number. What was she going to do?

Unable to sleep the whole night, she waited for her husband’s return the next day. Heavily disturbed to the core, she could not pray neither could she eat.

To her utmost surprise, her husband returned home the next day heavily drunk! This was very unusual for the morally upright man she had known for the past 36 years. The neatly pressed suit he had left home with, had been replaced by a filth-stained singlet. Immediately, she rushed to receive her husband as he alighted from his car in a dazed fashion; brushing her own complaints aside.

What welcomed her was a dirty slap. “Pick up all your things, you are leaving this house. I am bringing in a woman I love. A woman I would want to start a new family with. This family is dead!” He said as he trotted off to bed.

Margaret was torn apart. So many troubles for a day. She felt broken! Reality nudged her right in the eyes, when she attempted waking up from sleep. ‘Not today, Maggie!

She gathered the little courage she had, dialed the digits of the only man he knew aside his husband. “Dad, I am coming home!” …

Her husband’s chauffeur stood there quietly unable to take a step. He was confused. Should he comfort this woman who was clearly in despair? Or head home, like he does every time?

As he stood there dumbfounded, Kwamina, the last born charged towards him with a Bible in his hands. “Why does this have to happen to my family in a matter of split seconds? Where is the God I serve? He should come down and cause a miracle” He desperately said. No amount of Biblical quotes from this chauffeur could calm this boy down. Kwamina was so agitated he did not realize he had mistakenly picked up a wooden plank lying beside the car.

When the chauffeur realized what had happened, he tried to grab the plank from his grip, however what greeted him was a sound smack in his face in absolute fury.

The adrenaline rush of the chauffeur retaliated by finding a nearby cutlass and slashing the wrist and abdomen of his abdomen in two complete moves.

The whole scene turned bloody and horrific as Kwamina lay in a pool of blood unable to speak. All raised tempers abated as everyone rushed to the scene. The drunk father, with deep regret reached for his car keys and drove their son to the hospital in the company of his loving wife, the chauffeur, and his drug dazed son.

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Following the declaration of the presidential results after the elections, there has been unrest in some parts of the country. This had led to the death of some and the admission of others in a critical state. But this is not a time for war, but a time for peace. A time for us to accept and appreciate our differences, and move on as a country in spite of this pandemic. A time for us to pray and seek the face of God in the face of this constantly mutating COVID-19 virus. These Christmas celebration should be a period of merry making even in the presence of an empty pocket.

Be of good cheer, and make merry for you do not know what tomorrow brings. Pray and then plan your future. But remember the future starts now.

God’s hand moves when people and pastors pray together. Through prayer, God greatly multiplies our efforts and makes the impossible, possible.

Enjoy the Christmas celebrations and Thanks for reading!

Eliezer