The Difference a Day Makes!

Yesterday at this time, I was sitting in the boardroom at work with the country’s chief, the Minister of Education and Permanent Secretary as a member of my organization’s senior management team. The prime minister had just completed a tour of the organization and we were chatting, laughing and updating him, followed by light refreshments.

Today, I am lying on my mother’s couch, not long ago having returned from the doctor. My body is in a totally different zone. It is the second such episode of this nature in less than a year. I won’t go into details, but I didn’t have the best of nights and needed special assistance throughout the night and morning. Had I been in this condition yesterday, I would have certainly not been able to robustly participate in such an important visit.

Yesterday’s strength is like a vapour and I rest here on this couch BUT for the grace of God! Yesterday, I felt so full of life! It makes me ponder on the fact we are BUT flesh and blood. It is so important to not boast in our own natural strength. People have dropped dead on the job or woke up fine and by evening have been hospitalized. There is even the story of a young man who fainted during a basketball game and today is a quadriplegic. I am reminded of the text in James 4 v 14 which says, “…for what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vainisheth away.”

I encourage you today to humble yourself before the Lord because, “…in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17 v 28). We are but dust and to dust we shall return: black, white, educated, illiterate, poor, middle class, rich….it does not matter. Think not that you exist on your own accord. We cannot take another breath unless He gives us power.

Think on these things.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Real Friends Tell You the Truth!

I’ve had this quote stored in my phone for several months; it resonates with me. I truly believe what we put into our systems affect us. What we allow our eyes to dwell on, what we listen to, who we associate with. In fact, the words in the image above support my August 16th post, What are You Eating?

Today, the portion I wish to focus on is the “people you hang around.” And this is not just for young people; it’s for you older folk as well. Are the people you associating with elevating you? Do they enrich your life? People who really care about you, won’t allow you to go down a pathway that leads to destruction. True friends or family members, tell you the truth – even if that truth hurts. And yes, it’s not what we say, but how we say it, but I have a brother, who often says, “We need to pull them out of the fire!”

Years ago, while studying towards my Bachelor’s degree, something happened between me and a very dear friend of mine, Katina. Later that night, following our class, she called me (days before Whatsapp) and was so real. She told me she saw something in me, a character trait that was, “Ugly.” And you know, I really couldn’t say much because what she thought she was revealing, I already knew. Nevertheless, it was sobering, hearing it coming from someone else. It was something I struggled with, but being the REAL FRIEND she was – and still is today – she needed to say it. And I thank her. In fact, THANKS BE TO GOD, that character trait is far removed from me. I have DEFINITELY GROWN! BUT GOD!

What is just as beautiful is our friendship remains in tact. I did not cut her off because she told me the truth – which would have been ungodly. Our relationship grew because I realized, here was someone who cared enough about me to tell me the truth and wanted to see change. I thank God for her and she was someone I chose to be by my side on my wedding day.

You might not be a Christian at this moment, but even so, please choose carefully who you associate yourself with. Surround yourself with people who are focused, people of integrity, people who have your back for good reasons and won’t lead you down a path of unrighteousness. Now is the perfect time to reevaluate your relationships.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Give God What’s Right – Not Left!

I remember when I was studying online for my Master’s degree with Kent State University. It was two years of financial sacrifice, but also sacrifice of my time. I worked all day, then went home to conduct research, write papers, do homework and respond to classmates. Weekends, nights, early mornings, holidays, were not mine. So perhaps you would understand why I felt compelled to tour the campus, participate in graduation activities for international students, meet my favourite professor and walk across that stage!

But what I really wish to get across is the fact that I had to make major adjustments early into that Master’s program. I found that I would go home, eat and then head straight to a book or my computer. I then noticed I would finish LATE at night or sometimes not really be finished, but just decided because I was soooooo mentally and physically drained, I needed to shut down the computer or close the book.

I also noticed that when it was time to pray, it was quick, just to acknowledge God at the end of the day and I wasn’t spending as much time in His Word. Note, I was doing something positive – studying for a degree. This would result in advancement in life, but while studying for higher attainment of something natural, my spiritual life was being sapped.

As a Christian, you know when you’re not spending quality time with God. You feel it. Just think about how many of us can spend over an hour at dinner with a friend or loved one, chatting about the latest happenings in our lives. It’s like nothing to watch a movie that is over an hour. And we have no problem spending hours – literally hours – at theme parks. After all, we have to get our money’s worth – right?! I sure do!

But what about spending time with God?

What woke me up besides the emptiness I was feeling, was also passing a church sign that said, ‘Don’t give God what’s left. Give Him what’s right!’ That immediately resonated with me and even to this day, though I’ve previously and since passed many church signs, that is the one which stands out to me. It is the one I remember and have shared with others.

I have found that it is easy to be busy doing good! There is nothing wrong with volunteering for charity, mentoring youth, studying towards a degree etc., but that quiet, personal time in prayer, study of God’s Word and meditation – more importantly application of that Word – are extremely important for spiritual sustenance and growth.

The Word of God is bread. It is water. Just as the body needs food and water to survive, so our spiritual bodies need food and water for sustenance.

I encourage you to be intentional about your time with God. We give the world and family LOTS of our time. What about God, who gives us life, health and strength to do the things we do?

As Paul admonishes in 1 Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.’ The Word of God is God’s blueprint for living a godly life right here on earth.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

What are You Eating?

I have put on a few pounds in the past year – more than I wish the scale would record. I confess that it all has to do with what I have been eating and the fact that I’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle. I can’t recall the last time I went for a walk in the form of exercise.

In the past year, I’ve gotten into eating bread and rice again. I’ve also been eating way more snacks than I should, whether chips, chocolate, cupcakes etc. The reality is, I’m sweet mouth – BAD (like my mom)! I also LOVE a good baked bread. I recently went to a function where only two of us were at a table of 10 and I GLADLY ate lots of the bread in the basket. I was secretly happy the table wasn’t full. I didn’t have to share that good-tasting, fresh bread.

I honestly ate quite a number of these!

Essentially, I’ve been putting junk in my body. Lots!

That’s from a natural standpoint. I often look at natural things and make spiritual connections and the question is, ‘What am I eating spiritually?’ What is taking up most of my time? What am I filling up on? What about you? Is it WhatsApp? Facebook? Is it Meghan and Harry? Is it The Today Show? Is it CNN? National Geographic, sports or Greenleaf (I watched it one Sunday at a gathering and HATE the way the church is represented)?

In and of themselves, some of these things might seem innocent, but are you consumed with anything? Be real. Do you reach for the remote control quicker than the Bible? And even if you are turning to a Christian station, are you watching the pastors on TBN, 3ABN, The Word Network or on YouTube more than you are picking up the word itself? Don’t get me wrong – we learn from others, but even those should never take precedence over our own personal connection with God through His Word and prayer.

Today, I focus on the Word and remind you of what Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:13, “Give attendance to reading…” and in 2 Timothy 2:15, where we are admonished to “Study to show ourselves approved…rightly dividing the Word of truth.” Further, the only way we can be, “…doers of the word, and not hearers only…” is if we actually feed ourselves the Word and obey it.  

So have you thought recently about what sinfully delicious, caramelized, mountain of sugary goodness you’ve been filling up on? Are they empty calories or healthy for your spiritual life – helping you to sustain that relationship with the Father?

For me, it’s definitely been social media, inclusive of WhatsApp. And although I do not post foolishness or trivial things, I have sometimes allowed social media to be a distraction and eaten a gluttonous plate of it. Social media has its positives, but sometimes we spend too much time on it. It could very well become a distraction from getting into the Word itself. We must be careful of the wiles of the enemy; he is crafty. Today, I am reminded of a prayer session I had with one of my brothers on the 23rd May, 2018. It stood out to me to the point that I typed it in the Notes section of my phone afterwards: “May she not get distracted with the cares of this life and focus on Jesus.”

My questions to you: What are you eating? What are you filling up on?

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah