Forgive ‘Em!

18 Feb

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Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1Peter 4:8

I was recently called to reflect upon this verse after an unfortunate incident. I can’t go into the details for confidentiality but let’s just say I could have been justifiably angry.

In my pondering I came to a realization. It’s pretty simple and key to living a healthy life: I need to forgive this person.

I have seen enough vengeance films to know that getting that all so “sweet” revenge is short lived and  is honestly an empty pursuit so a different approach is needed but to get there requires some …. pain.

1. Acknowledge what has happened – For some of you this is easy – you’re mad right? For others you  may need to pause and allow yourself to be vulnerable for once, allow yourself to let it out and I talk of tears to be clear.

2.  Accept you are both in chains right now Them because they need your forgiveness and you because the anger/sense of betrayal/resentment/shame can never go away until you do.

3. Release them from their chains/ forgive them in your heart –  You have to let it go inside first before you can attempt to confront them. It won’t go well otherwise. How do you do that? Love. Love for your fellow man. The love that says “I don’t want you to do this to anyone else and I don’t want you to do this to yourself”.

When you care enough to want them to be free, you yourself can be freed too.

4. Tell ’em – Find a neutral place to meet and let them know that despite the hurt caused, you are ready to forgive. Then forgive ’em .

5. Set Healthy Boundaries – Don’t be foolish! Just because you have forgiven them does not mean there are not consequences. You have to protect yourself from potential repeat offence and also allows time for the healing process to work itself out.

Anyway, that’s my experience and I hope it helps some of you.

From the Pit of the Soul

10 Feb

I’m writing from a far away place, a place deep and dark and in isolation from others. A place with very little light at the moment. I am writing from the pit of my soul.

PIT-001

Some of you know this place in your own way; some too well and perhaps too often.

For me, it is that place I often find ourselves in after the dreaded (yes you guessed it) breakup.

Why am I here? How did I get here and most importantly will I ever get out?

The answer is a resounding YES!

You see, if you were reading carefully you will recall that this is a place of very little light after all it’s a pit but there is light even if there is not much.

I really hope this speaks to someone. Regardless of your situation the light is always there; it might not be very strong, but it’s there and you know it. It’s that last shred of Hope you are holding on to. It just seems so far off though.

For me, I have come to a realization. This light is God. He is always there but I chose to dig further and further into the pit of my soul and all I found was darkness around me and yet God is still there with me.

Let me quote a Psalm 139 to illustrate:

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

In knowing this we see that it’s us that run away from God yet He is never really far from us. He’s always there.

This may seem strange to some of you well because you might be thinking “How does this help my situation?” or “But I don’t believe in this God stuff..”

Please remember that in that pit you have but a small light, a small hope that hope is God – you might not know it but it is. Even in writing this I know in myself it is God. So the next step is faith.

You have NOTHING to lose at this stage, look around, there’s nothing but despair, but God has thrown you a rope. Maybe you never saw the rope before but now in this situation it’s pretty clear. Grab it, take hold of it and let God hoist you out of that pit to safety.

If you are willing to do a simple thing, to say a simple prayer I assure you your life will never be the same again. No matter how many times you find yourself back in that pit you will get hoisted right back out of it.

That rope is Jesus Christ. If you believe that He died on a cross for your sins he will save you. You will be saved. Now isn’t that great news! I know it sounds simple but the Bible even says “The word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” 1Cor 1:18

When you are down an’ out it’s the time to start being honest with yourself – things aren’t getting better by themselves, you need saving. On my personal journey I can say that no matter how low I get, knowing that God loves me and He has the power to change my situation always lifts me out of that pit. Now, enough pep talking let’s grab the rope.

All you have to do is say this prayer out loud and mean it. 

Dear God,

I’ve found myself in this pit, far from you. I’ve been living in a way that ignores you, doing my own thing. Now I see that you have always been there, never far from me and I have been living in sin; it’s why I’m in this place within myself. I believe that you sent your son to die on a cross to wash my sins away and save me. I now accept you as my saviour and Lord. Amen.

That’s it, you are now the newest member of the Kingdom of God!

No doubt if you prayed it and meant it you are feeling better but don’t ride the feeling train as our feelings go up and down, rather see what else God has to say about how much he loves you by digging into His word, find a good Bible teaching church and join a community of believers – I’m telling you if you meant it, your life will never be the same again! Trouble may come but your saviour will always lead you through it. Kiss goodbye to that pit!

Here are some resources to get you started:

http://elevationchurch.org/learn-more

Where to start reading from

The book of John

Take care and God bless you all!

A Season called Life…

14 Oct

“To everything in life there is a season”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 if you’re reading
There’s a time to laugh
and a time for weeping
A time to fast
And a time for eating
A time to keep quiet
And a time for speaking
A time to sow
And a time for reaping
These seasons come in their own time
Without warning,
Without reason.
Sometimes, the timing… (“Kisses teeth”)
Untimely, displeasing
Sometimes, the timing… (“YES!”)
Rewarding, redeeming!

There is a purpose for every season under the Sun
It’s a plan that is good and is meant for everyone!
That includes you!
You are part of God’s creation
Part of God’s esteemed generation
Irrespective of your denominational persuasion
Surely if we leave this world in a better state than when we arrived,
That is the perfect demonstration…
of God’s love.
You see…
There is much to be done in this one life that we live
But how much time do we spend meditating to realise it?
Do we boast about tomorrow like the evil ones in James 4:16
Or do we use wisdom and number our days like a good Christian?

In this season called life there is no tomorrow
So let’s try and live the remainder of our days as if another won’t follow
Let us be labourers of Christ cos the harvest is plenty
May we continually till the land and never run on empty.
On that note
I hope you leave here with a satisfied stomach
Jesus is coming back soon so we better get back to work
Make the most of this life cos you only get one
Eternity is a long time to spend somewhere
Especially if you happen to get it wrong…
Cease the day and be strong

Carpe Diem.

Fighting for Justice

29 Aug

It is only 20 years since we witnessed the beginning of the end of Apartheid in South Africa. It heralded a new era of emancipation for the black community who had for so long been disenfranchised as ‘non-citizens’ under a system of racial discrimination and became victims of repression and state-sponsored violence. We know of the courage and sacrifice of icons such as Nelson Mandela but little do we know of the unspoken resistance of the masses who gave birth to this freedom, those who tirelessly struggled for justice amidst great risk to their lives. We think of Steve Biko, through his writings and activism, and the protestors who lost their lives in the Sharpeville Massacre. All gave some but some truly gave all.

The end of Apartheid was a small yet significant victory for our common humanity, of which we are all inextricably linked, and for justice in particular. Continue reading

Family

17 Aug

The following poem was forwarded by my mother no less and I thought it appropriate to share as I think the message rings true for most of us.

 

F A M I L Y

I ran into a stranger as he passed by,

‘Oh excuse me please’ was my reply.

He said, ‘Please excuse me too;

I wasn’t watching for you.’

We were very polite, this stranger and I.

We went on our way and we said goodbye.

But at home a different story is told,

How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,

My son stood beside me very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.

‘Move out of the way,’ I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heartbroken.

I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.

While I lay awake in bed,

God’s still small voice Continue reading

Think Often of One and Two

3 Aug

Not long ago I read a passage which I found to be wonderfully wise. Its depth lies in its clarity of thought and simplicity of expression. It was from a book on Confucius, one of China’s famous thinkers and philosophers. I share it with you below. 

May it help you focus on whatever is good in every situation and delight in those one or two things which go your way – every day! 

I once read an essay by the famous Taiwanese writer Lin Qingxuan, about a friend who asked him for a piece of calligraphy to hang in his study. The friend said to him: ‘Write me something that is extremely simple, but which will be helpful to me when I see it every day.’ He thought for a long time, and then wrote just four Chinese characters: ‘Think Often of One and Two.’

That friend did not understand, and  Continue reading

STOP! Take a break!

26 Jul

Have you ever felt like this?

You wake up in the early hours of the morning in attempt to yet again cram in as much into one day as possible, work flat out in your non-contracted 12 hour shift, leave work, pick up an unhealthy bite, deceive your mind into believing it has full focus and concentration for the next after-work endeavour, work for a few more hours, get to bed in the early hours of the morning only for the cycle to repeat itself again. If you have ever had a dissertation to complete, new business venture to get up and running or extra-curricular activity to pursue, you can probably relate to the above.

Now if you’re like me you’ll probably convince yourself into thinking that continuing at such a ridiculous pace is justifiable because of motivational mantras such as, “I am still young and able”, “It’s only for a season” or “Perseverance is key”.

I’m here to tell you this…

STOP! Take a break! Continue reading

The Impostor Syndrome

25 Jul

70% of all people feel like fakes at one time or another. Some 30% have it to the degree that it interferes with their work and their life. A phenomenon labeled Impostor Syndrome.

A psychological research from the early 1980’s found that many women especially skilled professionals had high levels of self-doubt. The more successful they become, the more they feel like frauds. They feel as though they’re fooling people. There’s a conflict between their self-image and external reality.

This is certainly true of some of the females I’ve spoken to who believe:

  • Am I going to be found out one day at work for not knowing enough?
  • Did I get this job by fluke?
  • Is my partner with me because I’m low maintenance and doesn’t really find me attractive?
  • Do my friends really like me or just putting up because of how long they’ve known me?

Reading a recent article in Shortlist magazine on Impostor Syndrome (IS), it confirmed my long held belief on this. I share below five practical tips on how to unlock IS and live the life you deserve. Continue reading

Thoughts to Caffeinate – #2

19 Jul

“Your mistakes are what makes you” (Made in Nachmo, Jun 2010)

It may seem unusual at first but your mistakes shape the character you will eventually become. Success in any endeavor depends on the ability to learn from your mistakes.

Our errors are portals of discovery though we usually don’t see it like that. Continue reading

Turn that frown upside down!

6 Jul

Smiling Kitty

Do you realise that you are your own worst enemy?

It is you that defeats you – regardless of what the situation may entail. Whether you have been talked down to, made to feel small and insignificant, or had your work discredited, you have let that negative influence dictate your negative response; the circumstance has penetrated your persona causing you to stay down, kissing the floor… I’m here to tell you that it’s time YOU GET UP! Continue reading

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