Tit For Tat? Or not?

Tit For Tat? Or not?

Lately I have been at the giving side in most of my friendships and relationships. Giving in the form of advice, kind words, financial support, being physically and emotionally present etc.

I acknowledge the blessing in giving. I do believe as a Christian that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Yet, as human as  I am, I sometimes feel used, taken advantage of. I even feel burnt out, left with no energy for myself

This write-up is to remind myself and everyone else in such a situation that we should never grow weary of doing good.

Yes, sometimes it gets hard when all your good deeds are thrown back in your face, unappreciated.

It hurts when you seem to get no help when you need it most. When you feel lonely at the time of your need.

When those you selflessly help boldly turn their backs on you when you need them.

BUT!

There is one way to deal with the disappointment!

You do not seek rewards from people around you. When you give, give without expecting anything in return. This way, you spare yourself the disappointment and hurt because you had no expectations.

Moroever, your reward -the best reward – comes from God. He sees your heart and knows your thoughts. Give cheerfully. That is the bigger challenge!

So next time, when you feel like giving up on doing good, remember who you are doing it for. Remember that human rewards are nothing compared to heavenly rewards.

And do not forget to love yourself, too. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. You are commanded to take care of yourself first. That is the only way you can give sincerely.

Lesson: Trust Your Mother’s Judgement

Lesson: Trust Your Mother’s Judgement

Soooooooooo here we are!!!

Jeez! Time surely flies fast! I can’t believe the first quarter of this year already ended!

I am thankful for the little achievements that came with it. And I surely have a few lessons that I learned. Some were the very hard way, others, not so hard. But hey, we learn and we live!

This lesson is actually one I should have learned before ending my teens. But well, better late than never. I have learned to respect motherhood. I have learned to respect my mother’s wisdom. I have learned to accept her love, as fierce as it is.

A friend told me last week: “Hey, let me tell you this. No matter how high you climb a tree, you will not see what your mother sees, seated under that tree.” Growing up, I had people advise me to be obedient to my mother. I heeded to that advice till I was probably 19. I felt mature enough to handle my business. But these past few months, I have learnt that I can not be grown past mommy. My wisdom is not her level of wisdom. She has seen what I am seeing and more. She knows the consequences of my decisions and actions. She tries to guide me from pain, from getting myself hurt. Of course, I have to make my own mistakes, but some mistakes are too painful and unnecessary.

A mother will not sit down passively and watch her child run into fire. She will do everything to distract your path to that fire. She will do everything to make sure you are aware of the danger ahead. Sometimes you are running into that fire, knowing very well it is hot, yet you have that silly hope that, either, you are immune to the heat or that the fire is not that hot. A loving mother will take measures, regardless what it costs her, to prevent you from getting burnt.

Yes, you feel misunderstood. You feel belittled. You feel insulted because you are deemed unfit to handle your own business, your own life. Yes it is your life, you bear the consequences. But remember, when you hurt, your mother hurts too. Her heart bleeds when you are broken. Your life is connected to hers. She wants the best for you. Trust her judgement. Help yourself by trying to see things her way. Swallow your pride. Be patient with her. Take time to listen.  It is your happiness that is at stake.

Remember, you both are a team. Your happiness is her happiness. Her joy is seeing you succeed. Image

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5 Truths About Giving

5 Truths About Giving

How to Give:

1. With a cheerful heart, not grudgingly, Give out of your own free will.

2. Without expecting anything in return

3. With faith that you are giving something positive. Something does not have to be material. A smile, a prayer, time, all these can be given and can change situations for the better.

4. You can only give what you have. You cannot rob Peter to pay Paul, It usually does not end well. So, add value to yourself. Invest in yourself and share the profit with others.

5. Giving makes you fulfilled. You experience pure joy when you give.

Photo: http://www.friendsofvistanova.co.za

Status

Homosexuality

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Homosexuality. What does this term tell me? What do I associate with it? As a ‘straight’ person, as a practising homosexual or as a Christian? Homosexuality is not a ‘modern phenomenon’ as some think. It has been there at least for the past 2000 years. And yes, it has always been wrong in God’s eyes. (1 Tim 1:10). Now that’s for the Christian.
For the ‘straight’ person,  you are not any better than the homosexual. Why? ‘For all have sinned…’ In God’s eyes, there are no different ‘types’ or ‘sizes’ in sin. So just because your sin bears different consequences than your neighbor’s doesn’t make you better than they are. You shouldn’t make fun of them or make them feel bad. Mockery is never the way forward,  neither is hating nor punishing them with stigmatising. What you ought to do is love them, the individuals,  and pray for them.
Talk to them in love and plant the seed and leave it to grow. It won’t be in vain. Many homosexuals are forced to practise because of money or are being abused. Some do not know anything else. That’s why they need us to be there for them. Don’t forget to pray for yourself as well. It is not easy sticking to what the Bible says on homosexuality. Nevertheless,  you should make it clear that it is the act that is wrong and should be avoided but not the people practising it. God loves us all equally. Jesus was there for tax collectors and prostitutes,  whose position could be compared to today’s homosexuals. Hate the evil act, not the people.
To the homosexual, you’re still a child of God. He loves you, no matter how your past and present situations are. Think of your eternal life. Is it love you are getting from your partner? Anyone who truly loves you would be concerned about your welfare,  earthly and eternal. It is never too late. Whatever it is that you get from the homosexual relationship,  remember God says we should seek Him first and everything else will be given to you. He’ll supply your needs according to His riches. Overcome this challenge and experience the joy of being in sync with God.  

My Daddy Gon’ Take Care Of It!

My Daddy Gon’ Take Care Of It!

Happy New Year Everyone!  I hope you had a great start and I pray for you the grace to accomplish your goals!
Goals goals goals!  Resolutions resolutions resolutions!
I didn’t make a new one, I simply continued from last year. I resolved to be better. To be a better person, a better daughter, a better Christian, a better girlfriend/partner, a better student,  a better friend …. a better Me! I can only be better if I give the best of what I have. And I’ll always keep getting better. I say ‘better’ because it means I can still grow and improve, no matter where I get to.
Well, one of the personal projects I started last year was FORGIVENESS!
It’s been exactly three months today and I want to update/share with you, how it has been and what I have learnt.
My first update was basically: Be bold to keep people who hurt far from you.  There’s no point seeing them every day to be reminded of the pain and/or to be hurt again.
Today’s update is: Pray for them. Put them in God’s hands and just leave them there! No amount of pain or revenge you plan for them will make you feel better,  maybe short term, but not long term. You’ll regret it. Sometimes you’re so tempted to do something to hurt them as well, just let go. I know it’s harder than it sounds. But truth is, I’ve tried it and it’s worked for me. I had to hear ‘just let them be’ repeatedly before I finally discarded that thought. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible. You pray for this particular person and for yourself. Ask for the spirit and strength to forgive.  Ask for a positive mindset and concentrate on you. You’ll see how this prayer will take you miles. You’ll be more productive because you’re working on YOU.
Whenever I hear of what someone has said about me, whenever I get hurt, I’ll just pray about it and let God handle them. Why? Because no revenge of mine, no telling off, no confrontation can match up to what God can do. Just look at how your parents become angry when you’re treated unfairly at school, how they fight for you and make sure you’re shown justice. How much more your heavenly Father, who made you in His own image. Anyone who messes with you, isn’t messing with just you, he/she is messing with God. Let your Daddy handle it! He’ll do a much better job than you ever would!

All the best,

Phoebe

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Hey guys! I know it has been a while and I am truly sorry for the loooooooooooong interval! It is inexcusable! I promise I will do better.

Today’s topic is FORGIVENESS!

To be honest, guys, I am struggling with this. I feel so burdened. I find it so hard to let things go. I feel I am being stupid. I feel I would be letting people get away so easily with hurting me. And it is actually hurting me the more. I wasn’t always like this, actually. There were times before I was, say 17, I was forgiving. I even forgot most of what people did against me. But then something happened that made me change even before I realized it.

Tonight, I cast my mind back and figured how I was able to forgive. I have remembered how ashamed it made those people feel and how they actually apologized after I had forgiven them in my heart. I remembered how I wasn’t dragging along anyone’s baggage of evil done against me. I have remembered the positives and supported them with the little I have read.

Truly, forgiveness makes you free. I do not have to think of people as ‘enemies’ or ‘haters’ or simply in a negative way. I take them as they are and move on. I am not perfect myself. I have stepped on toes and will continue to. It is human! 

Forgiveness will give me the positive energy! I wouldn’t be wasting time dwelling on pain. I would use this time to recreate myself. Work on my ideas. I will prosper when I am forgiving.

Forgiving people will make me know I am on the right path as a Christian. “And forgive us, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. It is my job as a Christian to forgive. Jesus forgave and still forgives me. Who am I not to forgive?

Today, 17th of October 2013, I, Phoebe pledge to forgive AND forget the pain. I will learn my lessons from the pain, yes. But I won’t dwell on it. I want to move forward. I don’t need any baggage from the past weighing me down or pulling me down. I challenge you to do same! 

 

Pray For Yourself

Pray For Yourself

An incident that happened early last month in Accra-Ghana sent chills down my spine. Four people died and thirteen others injured through a stampede in a church. It gets worse: they were rushing for holy water. (Details here http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201305/106286.php and http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201305/106447.php)

Pause right there.

HOLY WATER? Which part of the Bible tells us Jesus left Holy Water for us or God gives us Holy Water?

Why should Christians die/perish in pursuit of God, if they’re not being persecuted? Why should men of God rather be worshipped? Why should you trust somebody’s prayers more than yours? Why do we fail to interprete the signs that are so clear? Why do we fail to acknowledge there’s a problem? Why can’t we identify something foul?

I am not here to condemn. I can’t condemn because I’m not God, neither can I judge. I can only try to discern as we’re told to do in Luke 12:56 and Hebrews 5:14.

The fact is, there are false prophets and pastors out there. We can’t deny it. We find idol worshipers coming out to declare how they’re actually the source of power and success of certain renowned pastors and prophets. And one interesting thing is, most of these pastors and prophets have not come out to deny these allegations.

It’s understandable that in times of trial it is hard to focus on such issues. But one thing worth considering is your eternal life. If you do prioritize your eternal life above the earthly life, which is very very hard to do but not impossible, you’ll be forced to analyse the authenticity of these pastors and their ‘prayer camps’.

Christians will perish less by opening their Bibles and building a personal relationship with God. Through Jesus’ sacrifice we have free access to God through Jesus (Hebrews 9). We don’t need any middlemen to intercede for us. Yes, we’re a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) Jesus left His Holy Spirit with us, we are all entitled to it. He didn’t differentiate (John 14:26).

Build your own connection with God. Talk to Him everywhere. He’s omnipresent. Have faith in your relationship with Him. He says He’s faithful and just to forgive us. So your past, your guilty conscience don’t have a say. Do away with whatever is blocking you and God. Nothing should block the connection. Having established this connection, there’s no need to call upon a third party. Whatever bothers you is between you and your daddy – God.

And yes, save your money! Where in the Bible did the prophets and apostles charge people who came to them for help? You know something is wrong when you’re asked a list of items that have got nothing in common with your situation. There’s nothing wrong with being benevolent. But there’s a problem when you condone evil.

Stay in your bedroom and pray. Pray with your family. Pray with your spouse. Pray with your friends. Don’t run to any pastor or prophet to pray for you. Sister, Brother pray for yourself!

God gives us exactly what we need ….

God gives us exactly what we need ….

This past vacation, I was given the opportunity to learn something very important. Something that is going to change my life for the better.

I learnt that sometimes we ask for things from God that are beyond us! Things that, even if we got them, wouldn’t raise the peace and happiness levels in our lives. Thus, we ought to stay patient. We ought to trust in Him that He got us. He knows our needs and gives us just enough and even more to keep us moving, Matthew 6:25-27:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

We, as human as we are, do not know what is ahead of us. BUT GOD DOES! His ways are not our ways as we are told in Isaiah 55:8-9. When you trust in Him, trust in His power to see you through, you are automatically happier. You are relaxed because you do your part and leave the rest to Him to bless. He directs your steps if you let Him. Pray and let Him guide you. Tell Him your troubles, believe me, it works.