You don't have to take your style cues from the world or legalistic saints. Here's how to make fashion sense.
Dan Graves, MSL
Church History Timeline
A character in a nursery rhyme may be closely connected with Church history and Christian archaeology. Probably you have sung "Old King Cole was a merry old soul." But did you know that the British have an ancient tradition that…
beginning, belief, Bible, career, Christian, degree, depression, dissatisfaction, education, Faith, God, gospel, Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, intercession, Jesus, miracle, plans, prayer, pressure, routine, seeking, spirituality, studies, trust, unbelief, unseen, Word of God
Years and years have gone by and I cry over the wasted years like crying over spilt milk. As we age, we wonder, calculate and analyse all that we have done, achieved, failed at and are yet to do. I am close to a year away from turning three-decades-old. I do not feel old at all. Some people tell me I need to grow up
Like many around my age, I am faced with questions such as ‘did your education do you any good’, ‘did your career pan out the way you planned’, ‘are you earning enough’, ‘do you think being unmarried at your age is a good thing’, ‘what about having children your bio-clock is ticking’ and many more. The answer to most of these questions is no. It would be a surprise if this train of thought does not cause anxiety or even a nervous breakdown. I have been down that road. The worst thing is when people compare you to others. I was dissatisfied and wondering God what went wrong? I wanted to be a veterinarian and I turned out to be a journalist. That was not the end, my career took a turn and I got into business editing. This was not what I planned. I planned to be married by 25, have a kid around 28-30 and be an energetic, young mom. After working with a couple of newspapers, I planned to be a features writer, as I discovered that was my forte. I would’ve juggled this with being a mom easily. Such were my plans.
I planned to study further too (maybe the US or Canada). I thought I’d return home with a fresh look at life and a big bang at my career. However, God had different plans for me. I couldn’t see it His way. I could only see it my way. Hence, dissatisfaction along with a series of whiny prayers (I wonder how the Lord has so much patience). I know my Father in Heaven loves me, because even with being so narrow in my thoughts and views in life, He still kept working with me and on me. You may ask am I still dissatisfied. The answer is yes, but I am dissatisfied with something different. Before I go there, please let me ramble a little while longer (thank you for your patience).
So, I cried. I prayed, “Lord I am happy for everyone else around me who seems to have it all. Bless them and keep all of it safe. Let nothing steal kill or destroy all that they have. Lord, I am sorry, but have I done something wrong. Yes, I did it all wrong, but am I not saved from punishment due to the blood that Jesus shed for me on the cross of Calvary? Has not the price already been paid, and why does it seem like I am paying for my sins? Everyone else seems to have it so easy. I am just a non-MBA, business editor, sitting in the corner waiting for the day to end. A daydreamer, who sits looking at the blue skies figuring out her daughter’s name, wondering if I could adopt a girl from China, then realising I would need more money in the bank for that. Lord, why do I want this so bad? I am scared of being a parent anyway. I am very sad and I am turning older. People are harassing me about my age, bringing in proposals and pestering me about an MBA. Can I just be a child? Can you please stop this ‘age’ clock? I want to go back to school. I hate all these pressures. I just want peace. I do not want to plan, dream and be disappointed. I am tired of this frustration. I want to be set free. I want to be satisfied.”
The answer came subtly, still and slowly. It took a few weeks. I was in and out of depression. The enemy took a chance at sending me oppressive thoughts and making me believe my life is purposeless, worthless and pointless. I was a loser, failure and hypocrite—a person with only plans and nothing to show for. My self-esteem took a big leap into a deep abyss. Oh boy, I was so down in the dumps I could not focus on anything and withdrew from everyone to my own little shell. I tried so hard to write, to call, communicate, stay in touch, but this time was so hard. It was like I had a big weight on my shoulders. The only thing that kept me going was faith in the Word of God. I kept rebuking, quoting scripture and encouraging myself in the Spirit. Not many knew of the war within me, as I had my trademark smile and I-am-doing-fine line to plaster up my pain.
To make matters worse, everyone around me seemed to be crumbling too. Funerals, loss, sickness and other such awful events were hitting my heart like darts would hit a dartboard. I kept singing songs like Blessed be Your name – Matt Redman and reminding myself about the Lord’s former mercies and miracles in my life. Buckets of tears and the will to live knowing that Jesus has the answer, I stayed on (no thanks to myself, only praise be unto Jesus).
Slowly it dawned on me, I am different. I have a different calling and purpose in life. No one, but the Lord knows how it will end. There is a reason He is doing what He is doing. I have surrendered my life into His hands and I should trust Him with it. Why I haven’t finished my Masters yet (due to lack of funds mostly) or why I have not fulfilled the normal things people my age accomplish are questions with one answer—the Lord knows better. He has written a unique plan, story and direction for my life. If I had it all, I would not understand the pain of those who did not have it all. Had I not understood loss, how would I empathise with those who have lost? Had I not known pain and the sickbed, how would I have ministered to those whose health is failing? There are many out there with no families and couples that are childless, how would I know their pain, if all my dreams came true? Knowing all this will help me appreciate every prayer that the Lord answers. I shall be truly grateful to Him, when my dreams come true. I shall bless His Holy Name when the dreams do not come true, because He has better plans. I will not take things for granted.
The most important thing I have learnt from this season (yes, I saved the best for the last) was that I was longing for things according to the standards of the world. I was being dissatisfied with the wrong things. I had to change my yardstick and stop measuring my life as per the academic certificates, accolades and view of the world. I had failed, my biggest failure being—enquiring of the Lord, trusting Him and focusing on Him. All my medals, certificates, promotions and praises from people meant nothing from the viewpoint of eternity. It was how much I obeyed God, how much I depended on Him, how much I strived to be led by Him, how many unlovable people I loved, how many I shared His truth with, how much focus I had on His Kingdom rather than building my throne and more. There are sick, imprisoned, perishing, lost, unsaved, vulnerable, unloved, unreached people out there in the world. I have not even touched the tip of the iceberg of things that truly deserve my attention, time and energy. I ought to be dissatisfied at the fact that someone somewhere is about to kill themself, a parent has skipped five proper meals to feed their hungry child, or someone feels lonely, unloved and ugly and has no idea that they are so much more than they think. I am dissatisfied that the church services around me have become organised, routine and pointless. The Holy Spirit longs to move, but is quenched by leaders who lack the humility to let Him takeover. I am sad that there are hardly any intercessors around praying with the fire of God. I am dissatisfied, angry, sad, but now at things that truly deserve these emotions. Shifting dissatisfaction has helped bring peace in my heart, because I know now I am on the right path. I know now that I am focusing on that which is worthwhile. Are you dissatisfied with your life? Try shifting your dissatisfaction, it could ironically give you peace and joy like you have never imagined. Happy dissatisfaction!
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever – 1 John 2:17
I hear her cries and feel her shiver,
The news I read makes me quiver,
I was silenced as a young girl,
After which I could not twirl,
Tell none or you shall pay,
Rang the words he did say,
I did not understand what was done,
Older now, I ask was he his mother’s son?
I hear the news not one, not two, but more,
I pray there would not be an added score,
After years of silence, threat and denial,
I stand with all who say send the rapists to trial,
That to hurt a child, a woman, a man or even animal,
They would have to pay, a price higher not dismal.
I still hear the little ones cry from a distance wide,
I would lie if I said I wasn’t stirred or haven’t cried.
Oh Lord of Heaven, hear my cry and heal this land,
Forgive us our sins, the murder, and come reprimand,
Shake the foundations of ancient that stir these acts,
Let Your light shine and truth be known as facts,
That men and women may know their purpose true,
And return to their Maker and truly worship You.
Remind us that we were made in Your image,
That when they rape, it is You they carnage.
Vengeance is Yours, give us justice and peace,
Let in every person’s heart be planted Your decrees,
I submit my nation into Your hands, take Your throne,
And for things You do, I give You glory alone,
We need Your love and light to pour out strongly,
That from every corner Your praise may rise greatly,
Abba, hear this prayer in Jesus name,
Bless You, to You be all worship and fame!
Crimson red times, bloodshot eyes,
Darkness mocks, friends condemn,
Brokenness adds more brokenness,
Truth denied making lies valid,
I know you are not the accuser,
True enemies have no flesh and blood,
They lie in wait for mine,
Write must I cryptic to not shame you,
I hold no grudges, just pity,
An atheist once, I cried alone,
Today, no more a heart of stone,
I have a Protector, a Defender,
One who knows it all, sees it all,
A thousand may believe the lie for now,
But not long, eternity waits,
The truth shall stand, all shall see,
I mean no harm, I battle against hate,
Keeping silence, lest my lips defile me,
Mind wars trying to defeat me,
However, I know that He won,
Jesus already overcame for me,
As I stand, I may look alone,
But with me stands an army,
For I am a daughter of the Most High,
He shall respond, He shall reply,
I wait still and silent just knowing Him,
Trusting Him, He restores my soul,
I feel strong again, waiting,
Rising again as on eagle’s wings,
Strongest in Him in my weakest time,
Preparing for Him, as a bride,
A warrior bride, dress me, equip me,
O my King, I wait for Thee as the Shulamite,
Madly in love, passion raging,
Anticipating, as the world crumbles,
May Your servant accomplish Your Kingdom,
That none should perish, but find the everlasting,
Never again to take Your Word lightly,
Folded hands and bended knee,
With closed eyes I seek Your face,
In peace at the promise of Victory.
Death where is your sting?
Grave where is your victory?
Jesus died and rose again,
Stomping you under His feet and mine,
Stomp, stomp, stomp, hear my war cry!
Love, joy, peace and sound mind are mine,
For you, o enemy waits a place of fire,
To deceive no more, crafty serpent,
Dragon of the old, Babylon is fallen,
They shall cry, no solace, no peace,
Enemy your fate sealed when Jesus cried,
‘It is finished!’ No more to wiggle your fancy tail!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.
I am tired of how you categorize me.
Of how fond of statistics you may be.
You speak of Jesus and then stigmatize,
Talking of love, hate fills your eyes.
Yes, my father walked out on me,
I have nothing to hide you see,
Was no fault of mine, yet you judge,
Once I tried to make opinions budge.
Can you see with that log in your eye?
Some said, “What good could come from Nazareth?”
Arose a Nazarene to save the world from all threat.
What chance do single-parent kids have, you say?
Here I am to burst your bubble if I may,
No drugs, no addictions, no jail term,
And yet my presence makes you squirm.
Jesus, my Saviour, threw open his arms wide,
My sin washed by His blood, He is by my side.
Who are you to condemn whom He accepts?
He paid the price in love, no regrets.
You have just negated the cross of Calvary,
Doubted the Saviour’s very ability,
To break the old and make all things new.
Can you question Him, known as faithful and true?
Oh you judges, on my behalf He stands trial.
Why do you not see, why such deep denial?
In His image I and you were made, don’t run away,
Repent, before it’s late and see a brand new day,
I am no angel, but sinner as you and all men,
By grace I stand and by grace I am forgiven.
Genesis 2:18-24 tells the well-known account of how God created the first woman, Eve, by removing part of Adam’s body and fashioning it into the woman. Many Bible scholars have translated the passages to indicate that God used Adam’s rib to create woman instead of making her from the dirt of the land, as He did for Adam. The question also arises as to why God created woman out of Adam’s rib as He did, when He apparently had formed male and female animals individually.