Friday, 26 March 2010

This 'n' that

Lately there have been a lot changes in my life, one of them being that I moved to a new town. So far things are going well but initially I was concerned about whether I would find a good church to go to since the church I was going to before I moved is not found here.The place I have moved to is a very small town, one of those places where most people know each other or at least are familiar with each other. There are very few shops especially clothing shops so if I want to do some serious shopping I have to got to one of the nearby big towns.

The first week I arrived I googled up the local churches, had a look at their websites and I selected the ones I thought I would be most comfortable going to. I am one person who loves church and I usually go to church most Sundays unless something beyond my control prevents me from going. So my first Sunday I went to one of the churches I had selected. I was taught that as a Child of God you are never a stranger in His house but in this particular church I failed to feel comfortable. People were occasionally glancing my way and yet no one came to greet me or talk to me. It made me feel very uncomfortable. I could not figure out if it was because I was the only one of me there or if it was because they rarely got new people and so when someone new came people would be curious. After the service I just picked up my Bible and notebook and left but I knew this was not the place for me.

The second week (last Sunday) I went to another church and I think I have found home. From the moment I arrived people where coming up to me greeting me and engaging me in small talk. I immediately felt at home. Someone even got me a drink and the Pastor came over to greet me and I was like "wow". After the service more people came to chat with me and I never felt out of place plus the service was good... oh I loved their praise and worship session. So I will be going there again this week and I am looking forward to making it my church. 

Has anyone gone through this kind of thing? I guess its one of the down sides of moving to small towns where there are fewer churches to choose from especially for people like me who are rather particular about the churches they go to.
Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Shadowlands



This song is very special to me. Late last year I went through a season where I was going through life in a haze. I couldn't tell if I was coming or going and I just couldn't see or figure out the direction my life was going.
I would sing along to this song countless times. When I listened to it I would enter my own little world because it would touch me deeply and stir me up. It was my way of communicating with God, letting Him know that I was hanging onto His promises that He made in His Word and that though I could not see where I was going I believed  He was walking 'with me through the cloud into the sun'.  I also looked up a couple of Scriptures which I would continuously mediate on every chance I got and slowly but surely things began to be clearer and shape up.

When going through difficult times it is very easy to break down and concentrate on what we are going through. Our challenges can easily become all that we think about and talk about such that they begin to dominant our lives. I have learnt that this is not the best way to handle our challenges. I have learnt that when we go through hard times and we find ourselves unable to think straight and take on a positive attitude we should confess what the Word of God says. The more we make confessions based on the Word of God the more the situation will change and the more our burdens will ease up. Talking from experience the Word of God works, what the Lord promised to do He will surely do, if only we can have faith in Him, trust Him and NEVER GIVE UP - Isaiah 53: 10 -11 
       As the rain and the snow
       come down from heaven,
       and do not return to it
       without watering the earth
       and making it bud and flourish,
       so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
       so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
       It will not return to me empty,
       but will accomplish what I desire
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Guess What?????

I graduated!!!!!Yes, last week and it was an awesome event. Although I had to travel back and forth from where I live (I have to admit it was a bit tiring), the journey was worth it and I was able to see my friends and catch up.
Here are some pictures for your viewing


Snacks at the reception after the ceremony.




My friends and I posing for the camera (Check out my funny pose).

It was rather sad though that most of my classmates could not make it for the ceremony but those of us who made it we tried to enjoy on their behalf :) and will be sharing photos with them. The journey of studying was an amazing one. Besides benefiting academically I was also able to make new friends, travel a lot and learn a lot about other cultures. I am definitely a much wiser person than I was before I began the programme. I thank God for opening the door for me to be able to do this.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Complicated and Confusing? or Straightforward and Simple?



I am a great fan of Elisabeth Elliot and couldn’t agree more with what she says in her book Quest for Love that dating and relationships have become very complicated and confusing today.  Talk about radical feminism and the language of rights and equality which she says ‘seem to be the only acceptable language today’, have added their fair share of confusion to relationships.  For instance, if a man and a woman have lunch together, each wonders, ‘Will he/she freak out if I offer to pay? Or if I don’t offer to pay’. One just does not know what to expect anymore.
I spent some time in Scandinavia and I was surprised to discover that it was the norm that when you went on a date with someone it was usually assumed you would split the bill unless the man offered to pay for you.  I found it weird because back home when you go out on a date it is the man who always pays in fact most guys would take pride in doing so. Thank God I had been warned in advance and I saved myself from embarrassment. Maybe I am the only one but there have been times were I have found myself tiptoeing when it comes to dating.
Everyone has their views about dating and relationships - the dos and the don't s and so on,  but as a Christian woman I believe that I should make wise choices in line with the Word of God. I am very grateful for Boundless a web magazine which I got to know about through the blog of From now Till I do. The web zine discusses all sort of issues like dating and courtship, marriage, being single, careers and faith issues. I have been able to get insight on many questions I have had for a long time but had never gotten satisfactory answers to. Now as I continue to read this magazine I feel like I am growing in wisdom and have been making more informed decisions especially in the dating arena.

Occasionally I come across stories and people who inspire me; in fact I have an Inspiration Folder where I collect stories, pictures and anything that inspires me and I love going through this special folder whenever I need a dose of inspiration. I want to share a true story I came across years ago but have forgotten where I got it from or who wrote it but anyway here goes, I hope it inspires you the way it always does me :-

HOMECOMING
 Author Unknown

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life changing experiences that you hear other people talk about, the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly.
This one occurred a mere two feet away from me. Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.
First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other's face, I heard the father say, "It's so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!" His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, "Me, too, Dad!"
Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son's face in his hands said, "You're already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!" They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.
While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother's arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, "Hi, baby girl!" as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.
After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, "I've saved the best for last," and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed, "I love you so much!" They stared at each other's eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn't possibly be.
I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm's length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, "Wow! How long have you two been married?"
"Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those," he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife's face.
"Well, then, how long have you been away?" I asked.
The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile.
"Two whole days!"
Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he'd been gone for at least several weeks, if not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), "I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!"
The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, "Don't hope, friend ... decide!"
Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, "God bless!" With that, he and his family turned and strode away together. I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, "What'cha looking at?"
Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, "My future!"

Lesson: How a marriage or relationship turns out is depended on what the people involved decide to make it. The decision and initiative is up to us.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

What kind of legacy?

I was flicking through the TV channels the other day trying to see if there was anything interesting to see  when I came across a programme which was talking about Princess Diana. Although I watched the programme for just a few minutes it got me thinking. Princess Diana died more than 10 years ago but her legacy still lives on. When she died I too was heart broken, she was someone I had grown to love. I remember watching on TV millions of people mourning her and the pictures of the many many flowers people all over the world sent her stuck to my mind for a while because I had never seen anything like that before.

Princess Diana left her own kind of legacy and so have many others both high profile  and ordinary people who have passed on. What about me? One day I too will leave this world to be with the Lord. Just the thought of being with the Lord in heaven excites me. No more pain, sickness but then what kind of legacy am I going to leave behind. My family, friend's, colleagues, neighbors, fellow brethren and so on when they think of me what will they remember about me? Will they smile because of fond memories that will come to their minds or will they frown and not want to think about me?
I realize that whatever legacy I am going to leave behind will depend on how I choose to live my life today. Do I reach out to others, am I a shoulder to lean on when I am needed and do I practice my love for other people?

The following is an excerpt of what singer Nicole Nordeman had to say about what kind of legacy she would want to leave behind:

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much 

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world


I want to leave a legacy,
 How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to you?,
Enough to make mark on things,
I want to leave an offering,
A child of mercy and Grace who blessed your name apologetically,
And leave that kind legacy.

As for me I this is how I would want to be remembered:
  1.  As someone who refused to live life as an observer but who chose to step out and take initiatives to positively impact the world around her. 
  2. As a person loved with a passion, dreamed big, took chances and trusted God  unconditionally through the good and bad times.
  3. As a woman who stood out as a good wife and mother.
  4. As someone whose life radiated the glory and beauty of God.
  5. As a person who though might have made mistakes, learnt from her mistakes and never let those mistakes define her or her future.
  6. As someone who thrived for perfection, giving her all in whatever she did no matter how big or small the thing was.
Well, this is me and the kind of legacy I would like to leave behind. What kind of legacy would you want to leave behind? How would you want to be remembered - please do share your thoughts.

The Good Changes

Perhaps I am a person of contradictions but here is the thing – I like doing new things but I am not a huge fan of change. I like planning ...