WALKING THE TALK

Posts tagged ‘God’

Chloe’s Questions

Mummy, Chloe said,
Why do lines form on your forehead
With a twinkle in her eye, Mummy replied
It shows how many times I’ve gone to bed

Mummy, Chloe said,
If God is real why can’t we see Him
Mummy thought a minute and then replied
He’s like the wind, we experience Him

Ex-peri-en-ce? Said Chloe,
Yes my dear, He wakes us up each morning
And we can see the pretty flowers opening
We can hear the birds singing and to one another calling

Remember Chloe,
in autumn when the wind blows hard
At times its whistles as it rushes through the trees
Fallen leaves brown and yellow filling our backyard
We rake and rake, at times bending on our knees

Ah, said Chloe, about this invisible God
Does He really make the moon and stars to shine at night
With a peaceful smile Mummy gave a nod
Yes, she said and the sun at noonday to shine so bright

God is a Father to us
He gives us food to eat and clothes to wear
He keeps us safe, even when we ride the bus
He is always near because He is everywhere

Mummy, Chloe said,
Why is God in  heaven is he dead?
No, no Mummy said, God is alive and well
He answers my prayers so I can surely tell

Mummy, Chloe said,
My teacher said that Jesus died for us
And, if we want to go to heaven and see Him,
Then accepting Him as our Saviour is a must.

Mummy stood and beamed with pride,
Her happiness distinctly unable to hide.
How right your teacher is dear Chloe,O Yes,
Only Jesus gives us Salvation and eternal rest!

 

God bless, LolaA

 

WHO PLANTED THE SAVANNAH’S?

The other day there was a programme on TV about certain animals in the savannah and how they live and survive. I was able to catch glimpses of it as I went about my other chores.

I must confess that my geography is actually quite poor, who’s to blame? I’d love to say it’s the fault of my teachers they didn’t teach me everything there is to know under the sun, but maybe just maybe I might be culpable in the matter.

Anyway the beauty of living in the information age is that any information we need is at the tip of our fingers, via the Internet and the likes of Google. In fact the other day I learnt that one of the most commonly used ‘apps’ is the Wikipedia app, no surprise there I guess. And yes, it was the exact place I was directed to by the search engine when I typed in savannah.

Like I said geography is not my strong point and for some reason I had always thought that there was actually a savannah, as in just a particular place called the savannah and it was somewhere in South America, I wanted to find out exactly where.

Surprise surprise! I was wrong and I was right.

There is a place called Savannah, it is the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia. No it’s not in South America, but in what is known as the Deep South of the United States and its climate is classified as humid subtropical.
Savannah lies on the Savannah River, from whence it derives its name and it is approximately 20 miles (32 km) upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. Savannah is an industrial centre and an important Atlantic seaport.

However the term savannah (with or without the ‘h’ at the end) is used to refer to certain types of landscape.

According to good old Wikipedia:

A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses. The oak savanna is a common type of savanna in the Northern Hemisphere. Savannas are associated with several types of biomes (ecosystems). Savannas cover approximately 20% of the Earth’s land area.
Wikipedia also talks about the different types of savannas such as: Tropical and subtropical savannas; temperate savannas; Mediterranean savannas etc. some of which are famous for their wildlife and/or exotic and varied flora.

Oak Savannas

When you think of the beauty of the savannah’s and how the trees exist equal distantly apart with sufficient room between them to let in enough sunlight to maintain the ecosystem that lives below the tall trees one wonders at the beauty of it all and the definite attention to detail that has been exercised in their development.

The question that comes to mind is who planted the savannahs? Who bore the cost? Who spent the effort and time to make sure everything was and continues to be just perfect? If there is any problem in the savannahs today it’s man-made and not the fault of the original developer.

So in your honest opinion who is responsible for the savannahs, could it be, as some would have us believe, the result of a big bang. A big bang that ultimately led to trees being planted methodically, maybe but it doesn’t really strike me as a possibility.

Okay, I get it; it was all down to nature, a natural phenomenon. But then what is nature? The Oxford Dictionary of English defines nature as: the physical force regarded as causing and regulating the phenomena of the world. It says: it is impossible to change the laws of nature.

A physical force…

And then there is Mother Nature which the dictionary defines as: nature personified as a creative and controlling force affecting the world and humans.

So the physical force behind nature can be personified, not necessarily a human being, but an all-powerful, awesome being. A being who holds the universe in place by the breath of His nostrils.

I believe the savannahs were planted by this magnificent being. This being looks at the forests, looks at the savannahs and sees their unified beauty. He also sees each individual tree and tends to each with love and care. His attention to detail is unequalled, no tree is out of place and each individual ant is accounted for. What an awesome being.

For want of an alternative name we’ll call Him God.
The Awesome Father
The Creator of the Universe
The Alpha and Omega
The beginning and the Ending
The One who changes things but who never changes.

He was there when this world began and when it will all be over and time is no more He will continue to be.

I believe God planted the savannahs.

The beauty of the savannahs, the trees, the vegetation and the numerous animal species are a testimony of the creative awesomeness of this God. A God who loves beauty. A God who cares about the big picture but is also immensely interested in the minutest detail.

He clothes the lily of the valley in beauty and He cares and loves every single being on the face of the earth.

The God who makes sure every tree in the savannahs is correctly planted is surely interested in us as individuals. If we will lean on Him and trust Him like every tree and every creature in the savannah does He will definitely perfect all that concerns us.

The savannahs are indeed marvellous but they pale in comparison to the magnificence and the splendour God wants to manifest in us.

God planted the savannahs, may we allow Him to plant His seed of excellence in us and nurture it to perfection that even the savannahs will begin to envy God’s handiwork in us!

Catch you soon in the realm of excellence LolaA  🙂

Watching ‘About Time’

 

‘About Time’ currently showing in cinemas turned out to be an enjoyable watch. It did live up to its synopsis and then some of-course:

The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life—so he decides to make his world a better place… by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

Yes Tim, played by Domhnall Gleeson, did manage to change a whole load of events in his life trying to bring some to his own understanding of perfection.

As we left the screening area my colleague said to me wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back and change the things that didn’t pan out to our taste and I naturally smiled in agreement.

On the way home I pondered the question. What would it be like to have the ability to go back and change the things we didn’t like?

My thinking is that initially it would be nice, new things always have a novelty about them. But gradually the shiny new toy will begin to wear and I reckon it will ultimately become tedious.
We’d be expected to live perfect lives; there would be no excuse not to. If a strand of hair was out of place in that photo we took yesterday we’d have to go back and correct it. 99% in your test! Back you go my friend for that is well below acceptable.

Where would it end? It wouldn’t.

We’d effectively be playing God and when humans begin to play God… well you’re guess is as good as mine with regards to the catastrophes that will occur.

IMHO (in my humble opinion) the dynamics of playing God are best left to God, the Almighty has the capability, the mind-set, the wherewithal, the strength and ability to not just play God but to be God because He is God.

It’s nice for the movies to remind us every once in a while what it would be like to play God.  I remember the film ‘Oh, God!’ which came out in 1977. Whenever Jerry Landers, a supermarket assistant manager, said Oh, God! ‘God’ played by George Burns showed up.
If I recall correctly it was a nice film, you should watch it one of these days.

When it comes to real life however, I believe we should learn from our past, learn from our mistakes, not to make them again. And learn from the good bits and how to better them in future. Learn from the past but not dwell on it because in real life we can’t change it no matter how much we would like to.

Each day is like a brand new egg. At the crack of dawn the chicken pocks its head out of the shell wondering what the next twenty-four hours are going to bring. The chicken is dependent on his mother to lead him and guide him, to show him where food is and what he has to do to get it.

Our Father, our heavenly Father is no different. He has already made provision for us. I doubt if the hen worries if there will be food for her chicks and she can have a lot of them in one go. No she just goes scavenging and genuinely expects to find food every single time. Guess that’s why the Bible says we should look at the birds of the air, they never go hungry (Matthew 6:26).

The past matters for lessons learned, but the present is a gift from God and the future is our endowment.

The Father is holding out His hand willing us to grab hold of it and walk with Him into our glorious futures. Faith is a powerful resource, when we place ours in the hands of the creator of the universe nothing can stop us. As the song says, ‘ain’t no stopping us now, we’re on the move…’

Changing the past would’ve been nice, but we have a much more important job to do, shaping our future.

Three important elements to shape your future:

You + God + Faith = Success

That is a winning formula, any day, any place, any time. When we have the type of results this formula brings we won’t need to go back and do it over. No we’ll have it sorted, first time round, every time round. 😀

I’m rooting for your present and future success!

 

LolaA

A REPOST

Hi Hi, hope you’re having a great day and you’re rocking the weekend!
As you can clearly see from the tittle this is a repost. My last post was a short story which I wrote in Word in order for it not to be full of mistakes and then pasted into my blog. Before making the post I decided to change the theme of the blog, something different I said to myself, and I chose one that went well with that particular article. A slate-like theme with an all-black background. When I pasted my article from Word the black text didn’t show up on the all-black background. So, in my wisdom or should I say lack of it, I changed the font colour to white, I previewed it all and it looked spot-on and so I pressed the publish button.

Now in a bid to have as many followers as possible I follow my own blog 🙂 That’s not quite true actually I think I did so inadvertently and decided to leave it as it gives me a clear picture of what happens when I press the publish button which turned out to be very useful this time around.
When I checked my e-mail to see how the post turned out I was slightly horrified to find a blank slate with a beautiful scripture at the bottom. That I can confirm wasn’t the plan but our God is just awesome and He does turn all things around to work together for our good. I hurried back to administer my site and make corrections, on getting to my site I found that two lovely people had already very kindly ‘liked’ the post. That brought a very big fat smile to my face, God is indeed great! The tittle of the post had given the impression that the ‘blank page’ apart from the scripture was deliberate. So I decided to leave the post with just the beautiful scripture up for a while.

If anyone did cross over to the actual blog to view it they would have been able to see the full post, but I’m aware that we live in the age of mobile devices and what we can’t see on our mobile devices often doesn’t get seen for that reason I decided to repost my short story.

I’d like to say a very big thank you to the wonderful people who follow my blog and for everyone who ‘likes’ my posts and those who leave comments, and a special thanks to those who liked ‘The Clean Slate’ as it then was.

The Clean Slate

A short story by LolaA

Nine year old Mossa stirred in her sleep and then woke up with a start. She could hear noises, a bit like some sort of commotion outside their glassless window. She lay still for a few minutes trying to think, what could have happened… She cast her mind back to the night before but nothing rang a bell, then she scanned the barely lit room of the mud hut and involuntarily sprang to her feet. The room was lined with vessels of all shapes and sizes, big mini-bath like type of vessels and small cooking pans which could only hold a few cups of liquid at most. They were all filled with a very precious commodity, water, yes water, rain water to be precise.

She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, to dance or stand still. At last God had answered their plea, their nightly ritual of asking Him to open the heavens and pour out some water in the form of rain. The rains had been more than four months overdue and everything was beginning to run out. Their food portions had been drastically reduced and water was rationed to the animals. Normally Akis, a remote village in the heart of Africa, was a friendly place but when things began to get tough the people seemed to harden also. Smiles turned into frown lines and nobody was willing to help the other with any form of supplies as no one had any idea when or how supplies would be replenished. The rain was definitely a reason to be happy but she was sad that she had managed to sleep through it all, or most of it.

Her elder brother must have long been awake his place on the mat-like mattress on which they slept was decisively empty. The only person still sleeping on the wafer thin mattress which was lain on the bare floor was her five year old sister, the only plus there was that someone managed to sleep deeper than she did. The thought brought a smile to her face as she was about to turn and go outside to see what service she’d be able to render.

She was cut short in her stride; her leg seemed to hang in mid-air as she remembered her slate, her ‘sums slate’. Having run very low on funds last year her father had had to withdraw her from the village school, only her brother had continued in the interim. Instead her father was teaching her from his limited knowledge at home, hoping that in the very near future she’d be able to resume formal schooling. In the last few days he had been teaching her to take-away a small number from a bigger number on her sums-slate. It wasn’t as straight forward as ‘adding up’ and she was struggling with it a bit, so her father had left five ‘take-aways’ on her slate for her to do and told her to memorise the answers once she’d done them.

That was all well and good; somehow she would have done her ‘homework’ possibly getting her brother to assist unnoticed by their father if it did prove too difficult. The real problem now was that she had left the chalkboard slate outside; as she thought of it her heart sank and almost touched her stomach. Her father always told her, or more or less warned her to always clear up after herself, putting things in their proper place, not being some type of a ‘dishevelled thing’ as he called it. But yesterday after her lessons she had been quite tired and after spending just a little while playing with her younger sister her mother had announced it was ‘dinnertime’. Dinnertime meant it was time to sit in the corner of their yard known as the kitchen watching and intermittently fanning the flames of the log fire on which their evening meal was cooking. After the meal and the eloquent prayers of her father she barely managed to stay awake long enough to roll out their ‘mattress’ before slumping into a deep sleep, she had no idea when her father or in the unlikely event her mother had lain her sister next to her. Putting her slate away had never even crossed her mind; after all it had been okay wherever she left it for as long as she could remember why was last night going to be different?

However last night was different, very different because last night Almighty God as her father and many of the villagers called Him had decided to answer their prayers and just imagining the state of her slate caused her knees to buckle. Suddenly she had an urgent call to answer, the call of nature.

She dashed out of the room and flew by the mini passage that separated the two rooms of which their hut consisted. In the process she almost knocked the big bowl of water her mother was carrying out of her hands. “Are you awake Mossa?” Her mother asked, startled by her sudden appearance. “No” she replied for some strange reason as darted into the yard and round to the side of the hut. She fought to open their aluminium sheet bathroom as she hopped from leg to leg, finally the sheets rattled apart and she entered and put the latch on. This was about the only place in the compound where one could truly have some privacy, except of course someone decided to climb their lone tree which had become severely over tanned in recent months.

She relaxed, as much as one could in the squatting position, as she relieved herself and tried to think of an excuse, a reason, something to justify her actions or should that be in-actions. Something, anything to stop her father from flying off the handle. She pushed both body and mind, her body produced but sadly her mind didn’t.

As she slammed the aluminium sheet that passed for a door she paused for a split second to breathe in the fresh wet air. Nobody seemed to be in her immediate vicinity as she attempted to do an ‘Usain Bolt’ towards the place she vaguely remembered leaving her slate. “Ah, at last you’re awake Mossa” she heard her father say behind her. “Yes father” she replied, as she turned to face him. “We’ve been working since very early this morning” he said with a smile. Fantastic she thought, her father still remembered how to smile. “The rain, the beautiful rain has almost subsided” he said, “but we’ve collected a fair amount in the outside drums, we need to transfer whatever we can into the pots inside the hut so that we can use it as drinking water and make room in the drums for when the heavens again decide to be gracious to us. Now go and assist your brother and remember no wastage”. “Yes father” she said again as she hurried off to the back of the hut where the make shift guttering fed into the drums.

By mid-morning they had finally finished. They had stopped midway for breakfast which consisted of fermented corn porridge and fried bean cakes. Their tiny hut had become smaller, literally over flowing with water and the remaining water had been securely stored outside the hut.

Now with the heavy lifting over Mossa’s mind wandered back to her slate. The smile of accomplishment left her face, she pulled herself up off of the bench on which she was sitting and with aching arms went in search of her slate dreading the moment she’d set eyes on it. She found it all alone by the stone on which she had been sitting the day before trying to figure out how to do ‘take-aways’, she could only remember the first one, nineteen take away five. The slate was completely washed clean on both sides and was still quite damp. Trying not to attract the attention of her father Mossa quietly went to put slate in the kitchen area hoping the residue heat would help to dry the slate. The area was still slightly warm from the cooking of the morning meal, but the flames wouldn’t be lit again until the evening. Lunch was a luxury that wasn’t enjoyed in Mossa’s household. If your stomach really began to turn very badly you were permitted to soak some gari (grated and fried cassava) in water and eat.

To the casual onlooker Mossa’s father appeared to be sleeping but very little escaped his eagle eyes. “Mossa!” He called out loudly as Mossa left the kitchen area; one of the birds flew to a higher branch. “Yes father” Mossa answered as she promptly arrived in front of him. “What were you doing over there?” He asked in a subdued voice. Mossa opened her mouth and attempted to speak but no words came out. “I can’t hear you” he said as he sat upright in the wooden chair stationed in front of the hut. Mossa clasped her hands behind her back in a bid to hide her trembling. She cleared her throat and again endeavoured to say something but she couldn’t imagine what she could have done to her voice it just refused to cooperate. With her chin pressing strongly against her chest she willed the ground to open and swallow her up. She decided to pray in her mind to the Almighty God to please this minute take her to the place where good people go when they die but she couldn’t think of any eloquent words to say. In frustration she could do nothing but stand trembling in the presence of her father only hoping that she would somehow be able to withstand his wrath. She stood there with her father’s eyes blazing at her for a good five minutes to Mossa it seemed like five hours. “What were you doing with your slate in the kitchen?” her father said sternly. She tried to lift her head and answer her father but it was an effort in futility, neither her head nor her voice cooperated. “Get out of my sight” her father seemed to growl, “I’ll deal with you later”.

Mossa went to sit on the tree trunk stump at the far edge of the yard. She knew that ‘later’ meant after supper just before prayers when whoever needed a dressing down got it in full force before the whole family. She bowed her head not even attempting to imagine the humiliation she would suffer and she’d probably get a punishment to boot as well. The minutes began to tick very very slowly.

Eventually supper was over, a kerosene lantern was burning near the door of the hut and the family was seated for the nightly prayers. The children and even Mossa’s mother were hoping for a brief outing as their beds / mattresses were calling them. Most of them had been up since the wee hours of the morning and it had been a long and tiring day.

“Who can tell me the most significant event of today?” Mossa’s father began. Mossa’s head dropped, the only thing she could think of was her slate that had been washed clean. “The rain” her brother ventured timidly. “Exactly” said their father with excitement in his voice. Mossa felt one of the many weights on her shoulders lift, maybe just maybe it wasn’t going to be as bad as she imagined. “The Almighty God indeed answered our prayers today and gave us an abundance of rain, blessed be the Almighty God!” their father exclaimed, “Amen” they chorused in unison. “Our God is gracious, He is magnificent, He is awesome, He is benevolent, He is the thrice holy God, He is the God that answers by fire, He is the God that answers by rain”, he continued, “amen, amen and amen” they responded.

Their father turned and looked at her, “Mossa” he said “what did you do today?” Mossa stood to her feet as was expected of her in such circumstances. As the family had praised God with joy and sincerity tensions had eased and the tangle on her tongue had unwound. Treading gently she said, “I am very, very sorry sir that I left my slate outside instead of packing it away neatly. The rain washed everything that was written on my slate away so I couldn’t complete my work and the slate itself is still damp”. “Mossa” their father called her name again, “yes father” she responded. “Today has been a beautiful day” he said, “the Lord has washed away all the dust, dryness and cracked ground with the rain, and it reminds us of how Jesus washed away our sins with His blood when He died at Calvary. Just like your slate was washed clean by the rain our hearts are washed clean by the blood of Jesus, when we receive Him (Jesus) as Lord and Saviour. You were naughty and disobedient to leave your slate outside when I had specifically instructed you not to. The rains were delayed for a while and maybe you were not expecting it to rain, you were not expecting the Almighty God to answer despite our earnest prayers each night” her father said as he looked at her sternly. Mossa drooped her head in despair at the mere thought of her, small, little Mossa, even contemplating doubting the Almighty God. She would never, ever do a thing like that she told herself with her head still bowed.

“As today is such a special day” their father continued, “and the soothing rain reminds us of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, just this once I’m going to let Mossa off without any repercussions”. His words were definitely music in Mossa’s ears; in her nine years of existence she couldn’t remember anyone being allowed to go ‘scot free’ by her father. “I will not tolerate a repeat performance” said her father in finality. “I will always endeavour to keep my things neat, tidy and in their proper places” said Mossa as she could barely contain her joy at escaping all forms of punishment.    

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7 New Living Translation)

 

 

 

 

The Clean Slate

A short story by LolaA

Nine year old Mossa stirred in her sleep and then woke up with a start. She could hear noises, a bit like some sort of commotion outside their glassless window. She lay still for a few minutes trying to think, what could have happened… She cast her mind back to the night before but nothing rang a bell, then she scanned the barely lit room of the mud hut and involuntarily sprang to her feet. The room was lined with vessels of all shapes and sizes, big mini-bath like type of vessels and small cooking pans which could only hold a few cups of liquid at most. They were all filled with a very precious commodity, water, yes water, rain water to be precise.

She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, to dance or stand still. At last God had answered their plea, their nightly ritual of asking Him to open the heavens and pour out some water in the form of rain. The rains had been more than four months overdue and everything was beginning to run out. Their food portions had been drastically reduced and water was rationed to the animals. Normally Akis, a remote village in the heart of Africa, was a friendly place but when things began to get tough the people seemed to harden also. Smiles turned into frown lines and nobody was willing to help the other with any form of supplies as no one had any idea when or how supplies would be replenished. The rain was definitely a reason to be happy but she was sad that she had managed to sleep through it all, or most of it.

Her elder brother must have long been awake his place on the mat-like mattress on which they slept was decisively empty. The only person still sleeping on the wafer thin mattress which was lain on the bare floor was her five year old sister, the only plus there was that someone managed to sleep deeper than she did. The thought brought a smile to her face as she was about to turn and go outside to see what service she’d be able to render.

She was cut short in her stride; her leg seemed to hang in mid-air as she remembered her slate, her ‘sums slate’. Having run very low on funds last year her father had had to withdraw her from the village school, only her brother had continued in the interim. Instead her father was teaching her from his limited knowledge at home, hoping that in the very near future she’d be able to resume formal schooling. In the last few days he had been teaching her to take-away a small number from a bigger number on her sums-slate. It wasn’t as straight forward as ‘adding up’ and she was struggling with it a bit, so her father had left five ‘take-aways’ on her slate for her to do and told her to memorise the answers once she’d done them.

That was all well and good; somehow she would have done her ‘homework’ possibly getting her brother to assist unnoticed by their father if it did prove too difficult. The real problem now was that she had left the chalkboard slate outside; as she thought of it her heart sank and almost touched her stomach. Her father always told her, or more or less warned her to always clear up after herself, putting things in their proper place, not being some type of a ‘dishevelled thing’ as he called it. But yesterday after her lessons she had been quite tired and after spending just a little while playing with her younger sister her mother had announced it was ‘dinnertime’. Dinnertime meant it was time to sit in the corner of their yard known as the kitchen watching and intermittently fanning the flames of the log fire on which their evening meal was cooking. After the meal and the eloquent prayers of her father she barely managed to stay awake long enough to roll out their ‘mattress’ before slumping into a deep sleep, she had no idea when her father or in the unlikely event her mother had lain her sister next to her. Putting her slate away had never even crossed her mind; after all it had been okay wherever she left it for as long as she could remember why was last night going to be different?

However last night was different, very different because last night Almighty God as her father and many of the villagers called Him had decided to answer their prayers and just imagining the state of her slate caused her knees to buckle. Suddenly she had an urgent call to answer, the call of nature.

She dashed out of the room and flew by the mini passage that separated the two rooms of which their hut consisted. In the process she almost knocked the big bowl of water her mother was carrying out of her hands. “Are you awake Mossa?” Her mother asked, startled by her sudden appearance. “No” she replied for some strange reason as darted into the yard and round to the side of the hut. She fought to open their aluminium sheet bathroom as she hopped from leg to leg, finally the sheets rattled apart and she entered and put the latch on. This was about the only place in the compound where one could truly have some privacy, except of course someone decided to climb their lone tree which had become severely over tanned in recent months.

She relaxed, as much as one could in the squatting position, as she relieved herself and tried to think of an excuse, a reason, something to justify her actions or should that be in-actions. Something, anything to stop her father from flying off the handle. She pushed both body and mind, her body produced but sadly her mind didn’t.

As she slammed the aluminium sheet that passed for a door she paused for a split second to breathe in the fresh wet air. Nobody seemed to be in her immediate vicinity as she attempted to do an ‘Usain Bolt’ towards the place she vaguely remembered leaving her slate. “Ah, at last you’re awake Mossa” she heard her father say behind her. “Yes father” she replied, as she turned to face him. “We’ve been working since very early this morning” he said with a smile. Fantastic she thought, her father still remembered how to smile. “The rain, the beautiful rain has almost subsided” he said, “but we’ve collected a fair amount in the outside drums, we need to transfer whatever we can into the pots inside the hut so that we can use it as drinking water and make room in the drums for when the heavens again decide to be gracious to us. Now go and assist your brother and remember no wastage”. “Yes father” she said again as she hurried off to the back of the hut where the make shift guttering fed into the drums.

By mid-morning they had finally finished. They had stopped midway for breakfast which consisted of fermented corn porridge and fried bean cakes. Their tiny hut had become smaller, literally over flowing with water and the remaining water had been securely stored outside the hut.

Now with the heavy lifting over Mossa’s mind wandered back to her slate. The smile of accomplishment left her face, she pulled herself up off of the bench on which she was sitting and with aching arms went in search of her slate dreading the moment she’d set eyes on it. She found it all alone by the stone on which she had been sitting the day before trying to figure out how to do ‘take-aways’, she could only remember the first one, nineteen take away five. The slate was completely washed clean on both sides and was still quite damp. Trying not to attract the attention of her father Mossa quietly went to put slate in the kitchen area hoping the residue heat would help to dry the slate. The area was still slightly warm from the cooking of the morning meal, but the flames wouldn’t be lit again until the evening. Lunch was a luxury that wasn’t enjoyed in Mossa’s household. If your stomach really began to turn very badly you were permitted to soak some gari (grated and fried cassava) in water and eat.

To the casual onlooker Mossa’s father appeared to be sleeping but very little escaped his eagle eyes. “Mossa!” He called out loudly as Mossa left the kitchen area; one of the birds flew to a higher branch. “Yes father” Mossa answered as she promptly arrived in front of him. “What were you doing over there?” He asked in a subdued voice. Mossa opened her mouth and attempted to speak but no words came out. “I can’t hear you” he said as he sat upright in the wooden chair stationed in front of the hut. Mossa clasped her hands behind her back in a bid to hide her trembling. She cleared her throat and again endeavoured to say something but she couldn’t imagine what she could have done to her voice it just refused to cooperate. With her chin pressing strongly against her chest she willed the ground to open and swallow her up. She decided to pray in her mind to the Almighty God to please this minute take her to the place where good people go when they die but she couldn’t think of any eloquent words to say. In frustration she could do nothing but stand trembling in the presence of her father only hoping that she would somehow be able to withstand his wrath. She stood there with her father’s eyes blazing at her for a good five minutes to Mossa it seemed like five hours. “What were you doing with your slate in the kitchen?” her father said sternly. She tried to lift her head and answer her father but it was an effort in futility, neither her head nor her voice cooperated. “Get out of my sight” her father seemed to growl, “I’ll deal with you later”.

Mossa went to sit on the tree trunk stump at the far edge of the yard. She knew that ‘later’ meant after supper just before prayers when whoever needed a dressing down got it in full force before the whole family. She bowed her head not even attempting to imagine the humiliation she would suffer and she’d probably get a punishment to boot as well. The minutes began to tick very very slowly.

Eventually supper was over, a kerosene lantern was burning near the door of the hut and the family was seated for the nightly prayers. The children and even Mossa’s mother were hoping for a brief outing as their beds / mattresses were calling them. Most of them had been up since the wee hours of the morning and it had been a long and tiring day.

“Who can tell me the most significant event of today?” Mossa’s father began. Mossa’s head dropped, the only thing she could think of was her slate that had been washed clean. “The rain” her brother ventured timidly. “Exactly” said their father with excitement in his voice. Mossa felt one of the many weights on her shoulders lift, maybe just maybe it wasn’t going to be as bad as she imagined. “The Almighty God indeed answered our prayers today and gave us an abundance of rain, blessed be the Almighty God!” their father exclaimed, “Amen” they chorused in unison. “Our God is gracious, He is magnificent, He is awesome, He is benevolent, He is the thrice holy God, He is the God that answers by fire, He is the God that answers by rain”, he continued, “amen, amen and amen” they responded.

Their father turned and looked at her, “Mossa” he said “what did you do today?” Mossa stood to her feet as was expected of her in such circumstances. As the family had praised God with joy and sincerity tensions had eased and the tangle on her tongue had unwound. Treading gently she said, “I am very, very sorry sir that I left my slate outside instead of packing it away neatly. The rain washed everything that was written on my slate away so I couldn’t complete my work and the slate itself is still damp”. “Mossa” their father called her name again, “yes father” she responded. “Today has been a beautiful day” he said, “the Lord has washed away all the dust, dryness and cracked ground with the rain, and it reminds us of how Jesus washed away our sins with His blood when He died at Calvary. Just like your slate was washed clean by the rain our hearts are washed clean by the blood of Jesus, when we receive Him (Jesus) as Lord and Saviour. You were naughty and disobedient to leave your slate outside when I had specifically instructed you not to. The rains were delayed for a while and maybe you were not expecting it to rain, you were not expecting the Almighty God to answer despite our earnest prayers each night” her father said as he looked at her sternly. Mossa drooped her head in despair at the mere thought of her, small, little Mossa, even contemplating doubting the Almighty God. She would never, ever do a thing like that she told herself with her head still bowed.

“As today is such a special day” their father continued, “and the soothing rain reminds us of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, just this once I’m going to let Mossa off without any repercussions”. His words were definitely music in Mossa’s ears; in her nine years of existence she couldn’t remember anyone being allowed to go ‘scot free’ by her father. “I will not tolerate a repeat performance” said her father in finality. “I will always endeavour to keep my things neat, tidy and in their proper places” said Mossa as she could barely contain her joy at escaping all forms of punishment.    

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have
fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from
all sin.
(1 John 1:7 New Living Translation)

Here Already 2013!

Last night before I switched off the TV I saw a bit of ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ a science fiction film starring  Arnold Schwarzenegger that was released in 1991.

The setting for the film was 2029 and I guess in 1991 the year 2029 was a terribly long way off….. But this is the end of 2012 and in a few days’ time 2029 will be just 16 short years away, makes you think doesn’t it!

Where does time go? Your guess is as good as mine, but it sure does fly by.

So what is your 2013 going to be looking like what is my 2013 going to be looking like?

In church today someone mentioned the power of the tongue:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat
its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

That is to say the words we speak shape our lives, that is true whether we believe it or not! Many people profess to be non-believers (i.e. claim not to believe in anything they can’t see, touch and feel) but will caution you not to say negative things as the ‘gods’ may be listening….. Don’t ask me 🙂

Many motivational books have the same theme, take Napoleon Hill’s 1937 ‘Think and Grow Rich’. His title is almost verbatim from the Word of God:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he……Proverbs 23:7

Well almost. But what I’m trying to say is that come 2013 what we think and what we say about ourselves have profound consequences, they are not just empty words. It is said if you can think it you can achieve it, if you can’t think it…hmm, you need to change your thinking process.

Ever heard of Job another guy in the bible, in his case his worst ‘fears’ came upon him. I reckon he used to sit down each day and think “what is the worst thing that can happen to me?” He probably came up with, “losing my family and my wealth”. What happened? You got it, he lost everything and was left with his wife who told him to curse God and die.

2013 is upon us! Let us begin to think and speak our positive desires into our lives.
2013 can be our year of abundance, our year of plenty, our year of promotions, career advancements and take home pays that take us home. 2013 can be our year of exam success and new impressive qualifications! 2013 can be our year of family tranquillity, of love, peace, harmony and marital bliss, our year of beautiful, handsome well behaved children and lovely cute new born babes. 2013 can be the year our business turns the proverbial corner and we finally arrive :). 2013 can be our year of restoration: restored relationships, restored homes, restored finances, restored love, restored wealth, restored jobs and careers, restored health, restored hope!

2013 can be whatever we desire it to be by the grace of Almighty God, for He has said in His Word that as a man thinketh in his heart so he is and the power of life and death is in our tongues! (My paraphrase)

We can make 2013 our greatest year yet and yes we will make 2013 our greatest year yet. Yes we can, and yes we will!

I know some people will look at the number 13 and say OMG in a non-positive way, and that is exactly why we are pre-empting it. We must not allow any negative thoughts or words to come our way concerning 2013, either our words or someone else’s.

2013 here I come, I align my thoughts with Gods will for my life and good success is my portion, I align my speech with God’s will for my life and 2013 will be my best year yet!

Let’s go folks, let’s make 2013 a real rocker of a year. Yes we can and yes we will! 🙂

Love you loads, LolaA

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Omnishambles