What is Your Name?

Have you heard gospel singer, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard’s song, You know My Name? Do you believe it?

It’s true. It’s scriptural.

God knows the names of all who are His.

Early this morning as I read John 10, I saw verse 3 in a different light. It says: “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”



What was revealed to me was, he not only knows my government name – that name my parents registered me in – but he knows me by the name, “Christian.” That, is also my name.

I started thinking and questioning myself: Am I living up to my name? You see, once we are covered in the blood of Jesus and have a personal relationship with God, then are we truly Christians. Christian is not simply saying we believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or we are Christian because we attend church and are affiliated with the Christian faith. It’s living out the Christian life in word and in deed from the way we speak to people to how we handle them, to whether we are putting God first…do we love Him and love our neighbours as ourselves?

Don’t they look similar? You can barely tell the difference.



Further, Exodus 20:7 speaks to not taking the name of the Lord our God in vain. That’s not only casually dropping His name as a swear word or in a joke. When we say we are Christian, but don’t live as Christians, that’s also taking His name in vain. It’s like pretending to be a part of the royal family, but not being blue-blooded. It’s easy to dress the part, speak the language and blend in. But when Jesus looks upon us, can He call us by the name, “Christian”?

Just as there is fake news, there are fake Christians. The sad thing is there are those who are tares, growing among the wheat, but the time will come for there to be separation. Let us ensure we are not among those who say in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” However, God responds: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). Lord, God have mercy! For people to believe they are Christians…saved…but in the end, He never even knew them…this is sobering.

So are we living up to the name the Good Shepherd calls us? Let us examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).




Growing in Christ,
Hadassah

My TV Blunder: The System-Shifting God!

When I worked as a television reporter, my worst on air experience was reporting live one evening during a week-long conference.

I don’t know what happened, but as I was speaking, suddenly my train of thought was derailed. I was on national tv and I didn’t remember what I was supposed to be saying. I got stuck. Trepidation set in. It was unbelievable! Yes, thousands of people watching live and I went silent. I wanted to walk away from the camera on live tv. And I can tell you that in broadcasting, silence for a few seconds could feel like a few minutes. It was an AWFUL experience.

Thank God I was able to recalibrate and finish the report, but I felt so badly that I went home, threw myself in bed and sulked. I was so embarrassed. I beat myself up badly.

I remember entering the newsroom the next day and being told by the main news anchor that she knew how I felt. She then gave me good advice: “Dassah, get straight to the point!” I took that and ran with it. This was my career at stake.

Interestingly, despite my public blunder, I wasn’t pulled from reporting live in the evening lineup the next day. That evening and for the rest of the week, I nailed it!

In fact, I was later told that when I was struggling in those moments the evening of the gaffe, the News Director was in the control room saying, “Come on Hadassah. Regroup!” I couldn’t hear her. I couldn’t see her. And I imagine that is just how God is rooting for us to get back on our feet when we make mistakes and fall.



In fact – and this is the amazing part – the next year when that same conference was held, I was bumped up from being the floor reporter to actually being the HOST of the live evening broadcast. And guess what? It was successful with no embarrassing moments. I went on to LOVE live broadcasts! As I now reminisce, all I could say is what has become my favourite quote: ‘Looka God!


I brought up this scenario in my life to prove that just as you are sitting there thinking you might not be worthy of that promotion, you don’t have sufficient experience to chair that committee, you don’t have the best grades to intern at that company, you’re not in the click, you’re too dark, you have no degree, you are the least worthy to represent the department, you are too old, too young, you just got hired, when you see UNWORTHY, God sees WORTHY. When man sees you as unqualified, God has already stamped QUALIFIED!



Let me give you three Biblical examples:

When Gideon was told that he would deliver Israel out of the hands of the Midianites, he said, “My family is poor in Manessah and I am the least in my father’s house (Judges 6:15).” But didn’t God qualify him and MIRACULOUSLY delivered his people?

When Sarah was told she would bear a child in her twilight years, she said, “After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (Genesis 8:12).” But didn’t God raise up seed for this couple?

When Moses was told he was to go to Egypt and lead God’s people out of bondage, he said, “I am not eloquent…I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue (Exodus 4:10). Didn’t God make a way?

I am one who believes in people being worthy, but I am reminded that our version of worthy sometimes differs from God’s. Let’s not forget in 1 Samuel 16, the Lord “refused” SEVEN of Jesse’s sons before choosing David because “…man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (7). OKAY!

We serve a God who sees differently and is a system-shifting God. Ecclesiastes 10:7 is amazing and is proof as well! Solomon said, “I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Wouldn’t God shift the system JUST FOR YOU?

What are you doubting God can do? Don’t box Him in.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

The Best Presents!

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I recently had an interesting experience in the food store. As the packing lady finished storing the groceries in my three bags, she handed them to me. I asked if she was going to take them to the car, but she murmured under her breath and looked ahead to the next customer. I was taken aback.

I really could have used the help as one bag was heavy with meat for my mother. I could be wrong, but perhaps with only three bags, she figured she would not have gotten a big enough tip. I don’t know.

I am a stickler for good customer service and I expect it even from the packing lady at the store. She shrugged me off. Further, I noticed she didn’t budge from the packing area; hence, preventing the next in line a chance to pack and gain a tip. As I exited the store with my three bags, I stopped to the first packer waiting on the line and gave her the tip I had for my packer.



Do you see how easy it is to despise something that was meant to be a blessing? Sometimes that increase is too small or perhaps that position too lowly. Maybe the present you received was seemingly too cheap. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In all things give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus...”

After that experience, I thought of how a packer at another store reacted totally differently a few months earlier. As this student from A. F. Adderley was packing my bag, I was honest and told him I had no cash on me, so I would take my bags to the vehicle. This time, it was no three bags; it was a full trolley.

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He humbly said it was okay and he would still take my groceries to the vehicle. I was impressed with this young man. He knew upfront he wasn’t getting a dime AND after not getting a dime, he would have to go to the back of the packers’ line.

I took the opportunity to express my gratitude and briefly encouraged him in the Lord. I promised him I would be back to give him a tip at some point.

Within two or three weeks, I returned to the store solely for that purpose. I met him on the line chatting with his peers. I asked if he remembered me. He said yes, with big wide, almost-smiling eyes. I escorted him off the line and pulled out a card from my bag which had a handwritten note of encouragement. Inside, I had slipped a handsome sum of money – way more than I believe the average packer receives for a tip.

The young man received a gift for doing for me when he knew he would get nothing in return, whereas the lady seemed to reject assisting possibly because the reward might not have been big enough.

Some of the best presents come in unassuming packages.

I understand packers make no salary, but attitude makes a huge difference. Let us be careful how we handle situations. Remember: The best presents aren’t always in the glittering or biggest packages!

Growing in Christ,
Hadassah

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