Behind the Mask

IMG-20200613-WA0020Photo: Getty Images

 

Honestly, there is a part of me which likes being behind the masks we have to wear these days – unfortunately due to COVID-19. I honestly feel incognito.

In fact, one day, I had on my mask, shades and a wig (the latter because my natural hair is a mess!). I rarely use the shades, but the mask helps to shield my identity – to some extent. Between that wig with bangs over my forehead AND a mask, I go about often without revealing who I am.

Yesterday, I thought of how spiritually, many people are hiding behind masks. Their true identities are not known. A person can be in the choir, an usher, a deacon, pastor, the praying old lady who sits in the same spot every week, a stalwart member of the church or a babe in Christ who sits in the back pew – it does not matter. God has called us to be honest people. We shouldn’t be “holy-art-thou” when we walk into the church building with the loudest praise and the scripture-laced prayers, but cheating on our spouses, lying to a Customs Officer when it’s time to declare what we are bringing into the country or calling in sick when we are not.

IMG-20200613-WA0021Photo: World Vision

 

“For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. ” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:14.

God is not impressed with the outward appearance. We can only hide or fake our ways through for so long. He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We are expected to be the same person outside the church service or prayer meeting as we are when we go to those walls. After all, the church is not the building – it’s the people. Our lives are sermons everyday.

“…walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” ~ Ephesians 4:1

Growing in Christ,                                   

Hadassah

Should I Blame COVID19?

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I have a confession. I ate a family size box of Fruit Loops over a three-day period – by myself!

Terrible! I know!

I must say, I have not exercised self control as I sit under this curfew due to COVID19 – the pandemic which has nearly brought the world to its knees. This Fruit Loops snack attack is not good for my health (loads of sugar) nor for my waistline (I hope I can fit in my clothes when it’s time to return to work)!

I also recognize the reason I kept going back to what really amounts to empty calories, was because I wasn’t full, but also because sugar is addictive.

It made me think: What else in your life amounts to empty calories?

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At this moment, everyone simply wants the basic necessities of life, chiefly, food and water. Who cares about missing a New York & Co spring sale? Who cares about paying $80 for a makeover, when that could go towards grocery?  And is that planned trip to Disney more important than keeping a roof over your family’s head when both parents have been laid off? The $200 you might have been saving for dinner with a friend, now needs to help your grammy stock up in these uncertain times.

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The trappings of this life perhaps matter less to you by now. You may now realize that a lot of things we do are not necessary. They’re luxuries. I’m not saying don’t treat yourself. Don’t get me wrong. But in the grand scheme of things, if COVID19 hasn’t opened your eyes to the fragility of life and how it can be toppled over with little or no notice, I pray the scales be removed really soon.

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Today, I hope you are a bit more thankful for the things which matter. Interacting with the talkative old lady in the pew behind you. Sharing a meal with a colleague. That hug from your gregarious nephew. Let’s thank God for the little things – the things often taken for granted!

May this lockdown be a time of reflection. And when it is over, may we emerge as a more loving, thoughtful, compassionate people.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

Just ONE Belly Breakdown

 

If you have never had your belly breakdown on you, perhaps you are not human.

Let’s be real: you’ve had AT LEAST one belly breakdown in your life – right? At least one.

Look, in recent weeks, I’ve been focusing more on allowing God to be glorified in my life as opposed to me. Trust me, it is EASY to glorify self. Just think about it the next time you take a “selfie.” It’s ALL about you. Let’s be real. And of course, you are entitled to do as you wish.

Whether you are the head of a nation, the CEO of a company, the richest kid in your class, someone who is making minimum wage, black, white, living in the suburbs or the inner city, we all are but flesh and blood. In fact, Job 19: 26 says, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God…” It’s a riveting description and some might see it as offensive, but it’s reality. The rich, the poor and the middle class all meet at the cemetery. It’s that one, common meeting place. “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”  ~ Genesis 3:19.

Source: http://www.dalmeny.org/history/history-graveyard

There is no doubt that one sickness, one disease, one accident…one belly breakdown and human beings could easily be humbled. However, I implore you to not wait for something drastic to happen to become humble. Choose today to recognize that your beauty, your hot body, your Louis Vuitton bag, those red bottom Christian Louboutin shoes, that Ivy league university degree, the money in the bank, your swag…they all shall come to nothing at some point.

As we are in the final month of the year 2019, standing on the precipice of not only a new year, but a new decade, let us seriously think about the importance of humbling ourselves in the sight of the Lord. One belly breakdown is enough to remind us that this body could easily disintegrate. Hence, don’t get caught up in the things of the world and of the flesh and forget that the breath in your body is not yours.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Did You Share Christ at Thanksgiving?

We are officially into the festive holiday season. For many, it’s party time! Shopping, gift giving, eating, drinking etc. But have you ever wondered whether the King of all kings is being glorified?

I recently chose the word glorify for Bible study because it has hit me more than ever that ONLY God ought to be glorified and lifted high. The Word – through St. Paul – admonishes us to glory in nothing save Jesus and the cross (Galatians 6:14).

This wretched world will be gone someday and the flesh shall disintegrate and return to the earth. What profit had a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul (Mark 8:36)? Nothing in this life is worth our soul salvation.

Earlier this week, I thought: “If I don’t get the desires of my heart, will I still serve the Lord?” My answer was, and remains, a resounding YES! We must be prepared to give up the world and the flesh for Jesus. As Job says, “Naked I came and naked I shall return. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).”

Let us be ready for the coming of the Lord. Let us work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Meantime, let our mission be to share AND show the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified to family and friends. Did you tell someone about Jesus at your Thanksgiving gathering yesterday? Did you give someone hope of a better life in Christ Jesus through His saving grace? In all of the eating and drinking, did you give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross to redeem us from our sins?

Jesus said we ought to occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13), but the eating and drinking, and the worldly achievements are for the here and now. They shall be gone someday. Let us not become so consumed that our vision becomes skewed. We must ensure we do not lose our souls with it all. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

My focus has recently been: Does it glorify God? From conversations to actions and even thoughts: Do they glorify God? My prayer is for more God in my life. My prayer is that He would increase and I decrease. More God. Less self.

Set your affections on things above and not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). His coming draweth nigh.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah