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I am because you are

​Lessons from my one week “internet fasting”.

Being an internet addict who like others is constantly in close proximity to electric sockets, the last thing one would expect to come to my mind was the dreadful thought of taking a break from using the only thing that apparently makes life easier for me. Yet, this didn’t end only as a thought – but went on to become a decision as well. One I would eventually not back out of. Quite strangely, “evolution took a step back” – if you know what I mean – for me. This was for me, like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgey attempting to reach the summit of Everest -the highest mountain on earth – as men first to do so in the early 1950s, I didn’t know what to expect during this hiatus. As the air gets thinner the higher you go, so does it also get melancholic the farther you go back in time. Perhaps. Have I already forgotten the lesson: Look before you leap? Perhaps, I had been preparing for an early termination of the mission and then just feel good about myself for at least trying. But did it? Well, to my own surprise. I must confess, I couldnt keep off hundred percent but one would find it easy to forgive me if you got to know I only had to put on my data connection for about 30 secs every morning for the sake of tracking my [Bible] reading activity (tells me, it’s been 50 days after accidentally resetting my phone). It’s funny, of course, to know that today’s Bibles also somehow thrive on this noxiously addictive discovery, and invention. And who is to blame?
If already you’re wondering whether it was a difficult thing to do, I can assure you it was and always will be – and not just for the addicts. But this certainly is not impossible. As of the time I was putting this note together, I was feeling the growing temptation of getting to know what’s up with ManUtd. There’s a crucial game against Spurs coming up the following day. (You would empathize, if you knew how much I love the Red Devils). Good thing however was the fact that, this decision, thought me a lot of things I would only have learnt by taking this honestly unpleasant pause. So I have decided to put this together, to share with you my lessons from this little adventure. Hopefully, you would be drawn into trying it out too. Enjoy.

1. Never Late. Never busy: During this break period, the latest I got to the office was just about 7 AM. – that is if I accurately tracked my time. What was the story before then? However, throughout this period, I was still able to get so much done before leaving for work. It’s amazing. I read at least two Chapters in my Bible, wash down, get my clothes ironed for work, read about four pages of my book for the month (this didn’t take less than 15 minutes) and still have enough time to ensure I have everything needed for work checked. I had time to do my devotion and study the Bible (although I haven’t been disciplined when it comes to this) and got time to pray. I realized that through out this period, my priorities had changed completely – back to what it’s meant to be. I was now connecting with God more – much more if only I had been disciplined with my devotions and Bible studies. All the while, I had been sacrificing God or more accurately, myself for that which is fleeting. (4G network will become obsolete pretty soon. I won’t talk about my galaxy s3. You can just laugh about it). But is God? The Source of life? The One who sustains it? This is what I have shamefully discovered about myself. Putting something first before God! I’m glad I went through this period. I really am.

2. Old is Gold: My desire to stay up to speed meant that, I am in constant search for information through whatever medium. This time however, the internet wasn’t part of that ‘whatever medium’. (When was the last time you switched on the radio to catch what’s going on in town?) When I was away from the internet, the FM radio (and sometimes people around me) was my reliable source of information. Did it fail? Not at all, to my surprise. Coincidentally, during this period, I chanced upon an excerpt on a book titled The Bible Jesus Read written by Philip Yancey (my current favorite author). This book talked about the importance of the Old Testament, although it seemed really difficult sometimes to read some of the its books – like setting the dial on a favorite FM station whose frequency you’re not familiar with and trying to get the clearest of sound without all the noise. It is hard flowing with it’s inconsistency of the OT, let alone, believing some of the stories and events. But you would be amazed to know how God in His great wisdom over many millenia, through different people, culture, and at different places put together such masterpiece talking about one Man, Jesus Christ. The New covenant didn’t come to make obsolete the Old one. It came, that we may know more, who God is. A man who has been from the time of Adam till today, trying make Himself known to us. Sadly, some modern Christians think the NT is just enough. But truly speaking, none is enough alone. Both the OT and NT. Yes, Old is Gold. And I find many things in common when I consider the FM radio and the Old testament on one side, and the internet and New testament on the other. The internet didn’t come to make the radio useless. Just so we can connect a little bit more. This is how modern people – and Christians – treat differently the two groups. Unfair. In what may have stealthily become my new god, a break away showed that I had ignored and forgotten my radio for long. But did it ‘cough’ out voices whenever I put it on during this period? Yes it did. The radio was a “lovesick” companion as Yancey describes God in giving us Grace. Like the prodigal son, the radio waited to receive me back. A radio was able to ‘love’ me. Imagine that! How much more, my Father in Heaven who made me in His image? Not just me. But you as well. If you have turned your back on Him (Isaiah 59:2), and may be thinking He won’t be ready to have you back, please think again. “As far as the east is from the west“. Take a “one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn”. You’ll see him with arms wide open!! You may want to download and listen to ‘Prodigal‘ by Sidewalk Prophets.

3. ‎Fall short: When my friend asked me to go through some essays for her during this break period, there were many means by which I could have gotten the document and dependence on internet would not have been anywhere near the top listed ones. But I had sent her my email address even before thinking through the many different ways. I could have gone straight to her place and get the documents on my drive for instance. Subconsciously, I was still depending on the internet, like being tempted into sinning and doing so. I was breaking my own rules of no internet. My own rules! “Therefore be perfect as the Father is“. Imagine that. Even I couldn’t perfect and keep my own rules. And this is where I come to understand the Grace and love of God. My decision was one without grace, but rules. It made me a legalist. Like the Pharisees. Thinking that if I’m able to do all that I have set as target -or rule-, then I deserve to be ‘glorified’. Haven’t I thought in the past that the good things I do by obeying the laws of God will make me go to heaven? I couldn’t even stick to my own rules. I think, without grace, heaven isnt meant for me, or anyone else. I tripped through my journey. And more so on a daily basis, in my walk with God. For me, I had just highlighted the role of God’s grace in my life. But tripping for my friend, didn’t mean I could go about tripping. And falling. It only meant I couldn’t be perfect, but I have been empowered try my best to. Titus 2: 11&-12. Grace isn’t meant to be taken for granted. It actually raises the standards to makes us more self-aware. It’s hard and would be long to try to explain it. All that talk about Grace. But one thing I know is, I get it as a gift. Something I don’t deserve. Thankfully, I can recommend a book I just finished reading ‘Whats so Amazing About Grace?’ by Philip Yancey. 

In other lessons, I couldn’t believe I forgot to take my charger along with me to work and didn’t panic. I was surprised how long my phone could last with just one charge. Saving money, time. Being more productive, etc. There are many things I learned from these and many others. But I think the three I discussed were the most important ones for me.

The internet is a really important tool. Indispensable in some situations especially during this modern times. But what’s more important is our relationship with God. One should know the things to sacrifice in order to know God more. To love Him. The internet, for me,  I realise is one of such things. I hope to discover the others as time goes on. What are yours? And will you be willing to sacrifice them? Thank you for your time.

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The Entrepreneur, And The Other Guys.

After a lengthy ‘tug of war‘ to find out who brings up the topic for discussion, my friend finally let me know what she had been up to in the past few days. Reading a book that’s throwing more light on entrepreneurship. She needed my opinion on the issue of being ones own boss. Thankfully, I had come to agree with something on the issue in the past. Till today, I still believe what I learned is true and will continue to be so. NOT EVERYONE CAN BE AN ENTREPRENEUR. But more importantly, not everyone should go into becoming one.

More businesses have failed, more will fail because people keep believing what others thrive on – deceit. People are not simply up to the task, in one way or another. Many times, you find motivational speakers arousing the desires of young men and women to venture into setting up their own businesses. On very rare occasions, will you find such people advising people to work harder as employees to grow the businesses of their bosses. Mostly, the reason you find people desiring to be starters and owners is to create more, and earn more. But if it is really about that, then I want to find out the truth behind it. The only way I can is by asking a simply question. How many entrepreneurs earn more than section managers at Microsoft and Apple Inc.? You may want to say business are meant to grow. That’s very true, but again, how many businesses were able to make the transition from nothing to something? I think many failed businesses still have to do with people not meant to be entrepreneurs starting them. A popular thing you find in my country, that is Ghana is ‘everyone’ going into similar business once they find out it has been successful for the the few who had ventured into that area of business. Instant noodles, mobile credit transfers and sachet water production are a few of the examples in this situation. Some have become successful, others are becoming, but many have failed. Not everyone is meant to be a starter.

In this world that we find ourselves, everyone is meant to do and is good at something. In the business world, I have come to believe some come up with great ideas, but cannot start because they are not risk takers. Others can take the risk and start but need investment from people who have the needed resources but aren’t risk takers. As the business starts, you will find some that are not risk takers, but have the patience to wait through the hard times and see the business grow. Different people have different abilities and strengths in seeing out the success of business and good team players, employees are an important group amongst these different people. If we all want to be entrepreneurs, then the same person who dreams of setting up a fruit juice factory should be the one to work on his farm. He simply wouldn’t find anyone to work for him as an employee. And this is not easily possible. A biblical comparison I can make here is with the different gifts given us by the Holy Spirit, and our calling us either Apostles, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, etc. In the song, ‘Field of souls‘ by The Brooklyn Tabernacle, we even have a beautiful work of art echoing this opinion of mine.

It is a hard truth to tell. Sometimes to myself and to others. But it may well prepare people who are meant to be entrepreneurs too. Whilst it’s helping to put us into our right places, it could also be telling others to take time and understand entrepreneurship more, and be well prepared for it. It could be that lack of preparation and understanding is what will make real entrepreneurs fail too. But most importantly, not all are meant to be entrepreneurs. We can be successful just like some entrepreneurs in our careers and jobs if we apply the basic principles of success in our works and develop ourselves. Let’s find out what we are meant to be. And maximise our potential in that. It is very possible to be successful as someone who isn’t an entrepreneur too.

A Good Name, Riches And Vanity. The Misconception.

Many times, we have heard or read the popular verse, “a good name is better than riches” found in Proverbs 22:1. But a critical look at this tells me from experience that, myself and many others have in the past misunderstood the import of what is being said and some even till date do not still understand it, and having the belief that when it comes to having a good name, riches are a bad thing to have. Some may even think it’s not possible to have them both, a good name and riches. But you find that in this sentence, there isn’t a single ‘negative’ word in it to suggest that wealth is bad. And before you jump into a hasty conclusion, all I am saying is that, a good name is better than something which is good if one has acquired it honorably, just as he or she did with the good name.

A picture of brand new Mercedes Benz which apparently belongs to the Vice Chancellor of the University I attended was posted into one of the WhatsApp groups I find myself to me a member of. Shortly after different emojis were used to express diverse feelings about the luxury car, a message from one guy came in and it simply said “vanity“. Another message quickly followed that as a reply to the ‘vanity’ message saying “the talk of lazy men“. Whilst the two messages revealing the stance of the guys concerning material wealth are both very debatable, it wouldn’t be surprising to find more people agreeing with the former text. My opinion on the matter however is that, they are both not entirely true or a fallacy. It may be true one day, and false on another.

In the Bible, we are told about godly men who were very rich. Job, Solomon the King and even the parable prodigal son told by Christ Jesus which creates a picture of a rich father. Does this mean [if we’re sticking to the fact that riches are vanity], God wants us to chase vanity? Because in the end we will die and leave all the wealth behind, as the guy was putting across? If no, and if God doesn’t find anything wrong with having riches, then when can we say that some acquired riches are all just vanity? In Mark 8:36, a question is asked. “What shall it profit a man if he gains the world and yet loses his soul?” This is something for you to think about.

Now moving on to what a good name is, and how to acquire it. There are many things a man can do, without money or riches to earn a good name. I can’t state every one of them, so I will leave that to you my reader. Likewise, there are so many things a man can do with riches to acquire a good name. And by a good name, I mean one that pleases God. Looking at the three examples I gave earlier, Job didn’t fail in obedience and loyalty to God. Solomon in applying wisdom to rule and the father of the prodigal son, his love still remained. The common thing here is the show of Integrity in different ways. From this, I want to maintain my view on the saying “a good name is better than riches” has been greatly misunderstood. Having riches aren’t always a bad thing [or vanity] if one acquires them in a godly way. Whilst in every situation I find myself I would want to do what pleases God to have that good name, deep down, I know it wouldn’t be a bad idea having the many riches and wealth to touch the world on a much larger scale whislt I try to have my integrity remaining intact. Do not forget, “Money answers all things” Ecclesiastes 10:19. With a man’s spiritual integrity intact, his wealth cannot be said to be vanity. Especially when he uses them for the right things in the eyes of God.

In all my getting, I should be able to apply wisdom, I should fear God and I should love. There are many other things highlighted by the Word of God in a bid to have a good name. Imagine rich men who have acquired their wealth in a godly manner printing out the Bible and distributing them for free, building churches and worship centres for free, and paying for radio and TV time to push evangelism. Imagine what these riches could do for God’s kingdom. With love, integrity and the fear of God, one can still have something better. A good name, with wealth that isn’t a vain acquisition. Not all riches are vanity.

My stance on this may not sound well with you but I am keeping an open mind about, in case you have a different view and want to let me know. You’re very much welcome to do that and thanks too.

Celebrating.

Anniversaries are beautiful. A great reminder that you started from somewhere, and the fuel that keeps you going. Just a few days ago, I was reminded through my social media account page that it’s been a year already since I started letting everyone, far and near get into my mind. Blogging as part of me is one year old. (Shall we celebrate with some drinks and meat)? Looking back at the very first story, Fetal, and to my number twenty, I leave you, my readers to tell me how I have done so far. But before you get on with that, this post is to acknowledge the people who were and are in the business of putting thoughts out there in the opening. I realised finally that, it hasn’t been an easy job when I started and they have earned my respect already. It doesn’t matter how many stories they have told already. One or a thousand, they deserve to be acknowledged. These guys keep me going. And more than that, they make me better with every new thought I have to share. As you go on reading, take a moment to see the great moments in your life which are worth celebrating. Like when you gave your life to Christ or when you entered the University. I’m very sure just like me, you’ll find that needed energy to keep on getting better and creating much more beautiful memories. Again, if you plan on doing something, the best time to start is now. Soon you’ll be looking back and smiling at your success. It has happened for me.

Now, getting on with my mission, number one on the list is a fine gentleman, Daniel Addo, the Klear, Komical and Kandid writer. What a friend and brother this man has been. You read his earliest stories and you wonder if he had been writing before then. He’s kept me going and I’m really grateful to have him prune me. Check out his works on KKK’s Blog.

The next person who comes in mind brings me so much joy. I have had to share her stories on a number of occasions. Her first story was just pure art, I loved it and I’m sure she still loves it even up till date. She’s Joy of LJEE and has been very helpful throughout my journey. Visit her page and get reading.

As I think, and as I ponder, I wonder how far at yonder I have to go to get better. This lady, Naa Kwaamah Otoo Ankrah of A though, A Ponder, though claims she feels lazy writing can easily get you reading over and over whenever she publishes something new. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the link to her blog. I’m really sorry.

Take action when you finally find your passion. Maxi, or Mini, you should love what you do. This is the message from Mina of Mimispassion, a classmate and a senior blogger. She’s ruthlessly going to make you the best you can be if you allow her. I’m really proud to have such a figure lead me in this art business. God bless you lady.

Finally, a fine man I have only come to know just a few weeks or perhaps months. Good for a description has been greatly watered down. This man, Charles Nii-Baa is pure class in this business. He sees what I don’t see in my works and when I get his thumbs up for my work, I know my day is lit. Follow his blog on NiiBaah and feel what I feel.

Clearly, I haven’t gotten many friends who are in this business so there’s not a lot of people I can acknowledge, on the occasion of my one year anniversary. Unless otherwise they have decided not to let me know anything about what they do. But wherever they are, I appreciate them for allowing me to join this club and more importantly the great work they are doing. To those I have mentioned, you’ll have to forgive me if I didn’t get the permit to bring out of the shadows. Moreso, forgive me for not accurately acknowledging you. I should do better than this. I hope you find in easy doing so. Before I end this however, I want to make a humble appeal to you all, to continue moulding into the better writers you yourselves have become. I’ll be very glad. Thanks to you all, and enjoy your lives as writers. Be Klear, Komical and Kandid as you Think and Ponder on your Passion as Writers.

A Race To Grace

If man could run any faster, I’m pretty sure it would be away – and very far – from painful torrid time. On a day when a man with a past creates a dent in a picture the world expects to be beautiful, one can rest assured that the stories following it would not be ephemeral. Finally Bolt has said goodbye to the sports he took to a different level and found himself being referred to as the GOAT, and rightfully so. However, Gatlin’s presence in that final race and moving on to winning it has taken centre stage. (I’m pretty sure people least expected Bolt to ‘lose’ this race and more so to see Gatlin win it). That must have really hurt the Bolt lovers. This pain is so evident in that no one is even talking about the one who placed second, beating the favorite sprinter, and finishing one spot above the lightening Bolt in the race (What’s his name again)? The question I am asking is, are people mad and talking about it because they didn’t get the expected ‘Disney-like‘ ending to the Bolt reign or it’s because Gatlin’s victory all of a sudden took lovers of the sport on a sad trip down memory lane? If it’s about Bolt not winning, why not hate the 1st runner up also for distorting the picture even more. It seems the hatred towards the poor champion greatly outweighs the love for the greatest of all times in this situation, and people have taken the opportunity to express their anger as this is the best time there could be to do so. They wait for the right moment to destroy you. It even brings up the question where the love for Bolt is real. Surprisingly, this isn’t news in today’s world as lots and lots of people get the stick for doing wrong. More importantly however, this issue has got me thinking about an introductory text I read on the topic GRACE in my just ended youth camp.

In this introduction was a description of how we feel when we desire grace, and when we are required to give grace to others when wrong is done. Mostly when we find ourselves in trouble, we desire people’s patience, understanding and love in order to get the support and forgiveness we need. It is very easy to feel this way. But it is the same easy feeling when it is required of us to give grace to others in need? Across social media, everyone is taking a bite from the flesh of the new world champion simply because he had to do his job and did it, which was to win the race. He may have a past where he’s being banned from the sport due to doping on two different occasions, but that doesn’t mean he can’t move on and everyone else too. The most interesting aspect of all this is that, should Jesus ask us to throw the first stone again, not one soul would be found to lead the charge. I am now really getting to understand the importance of what I learnt at the camp. And in doing so, get the opportunity to contemplate our attitudes as Christians towards other people, especially other Christians.

In the church where people may have gone wrong for whatever reasons, we still find Christians who quickly jump into conclusion, forgetting that but for grace, it could have been them. Very often, we hear about the wrongs of our friends, neighbors, families and even strangers and in their dark times and this is when we take the opportunity to see ourselves as lighted lamps on the hill. But really are we those lamps between us as individuals and God? Again, are we ready to cast the first stone? If not, why is it then difficult to give the grace we so desire when it is required of us? It is very easy to join the bandwagon these days and dress up to seem clean to everyone else when we aren’t the ones in trouble. I am not saying that we should not react to people’s fall, but in doing so, we should find the proper and godly ways to lift the fallen ones up. On the track of grace, we all keep running. Not knowing when we will trip. Whilst we do not want to fall during the race, we should be kind enough to stop and lift the fallen ones up. In the end, we’re all winners if we cross the line into the Kingdom of God. This is what the Race of Grace should be.

An expanded vocabulary

Think of some natural phenomenons and the weight they place on our minds. The transfer of ‘data’ in our brains and bodies, or what happens in and around a blackhole in space. They are often not fully understood and then we have to settle for what’s merely a tip of the iceberg. After continuously digging into them in search of knowledge, we take a break only to describe them at best, leaving the rest for the next generation to figure out. By then we hope that as predicted, knowledge would have increased so they will be able to discover more. I read articles however and I catch the feeling that what is being said in an attempt to describe these occurrences is very much watered down. And to me, it is all just a simple lack of words. It is even more surprising to me because in these current times it should be a cinch to find and play around with words that would accurately describe these events in nature. You can try to think of some of these words, perhaps you will understand how I feel about the whole issue concerning a slim vocabulary. 

The description of events isn’t my main problem though. There are some things no one will ever understand and I too buy that as a fact. My main issue however is what I think of the one behind all these amazing designs in nature, and how I can accurately sell him regarding his prodigious dexterity. Yes, truth is whether you believe it or not, there’s someone behind it all. To doubt that is like saying a software programme like Adobe Photoshop ‘came out’ on its own. Funny, isn’t it? Even the simplest of computer viruses have programmers behind them. And when I’m talking about an engineer behind nature, I am simply pointing to the one we all call the Supreme Being.

There is a always somebody behind something. Whether seen or unseen, directly or indirectly affecting it. Think of an MP3 music or people playing in a live concert.

As a Christian who knows the importance of my praise and worship to my God – the Supreme Being, I find these activities lately as a cliche most of the times. Before you get it twisted, I’m actually referring to my vocabulary when it comes to prayer (and not the prayer itself). I say cliche because some words or ‘lines’ will always be heard in my worship and praise. It has almost taken a particular pattern and may even seem like a rehearsed programme if you’ve been praying me with for 3 or 4 days for the first time. Mighty, awesome, wonderful, greatest, most powerful and every other word you can think of. I’m pretty sure I have used them, and not just once but have probably lost count. This feeling has gotten in the  a mood to want to augment my scope of words and I strongly believe only He is capable of helping me with that. After all, He created the various languages we have around. 

Whilst I still feel the lack of words to praise my maker and thirst for new ones, I come to understand that this feeling isn’t near what is most important about my worship to God. If I could speak a thousand languages and have the power to turn every mistake I make with words into a new word, what weight will my ‘tumor-like’ vocabulary carry if my worship isn’t in truth and in spirit? I don’t know if God had me in mind when He ‘created’ the ability to speak in tongues. He is clearly telling me I wouldn’t have to bother looking through the telescope or microscope for words if I can jet into ‘Spirit mode’ and speak ‘things’ my mind cannot understand. What matters most is my heart. To make my words the most important aspect of my prayer, I may just end up  speaking things that become a sin unto me. 

There’s this friend of mine I have had this conversation with in the past she’s been waiting a long time to read what I have in mind. I initially thought by the end of this text, we could team up and find some new words. But I realise now that an expanded vocabulary in prayer outside the truth and the spirit is just like speaking into the wind. I hope I can find the right words to describe her feelings about this as she reads. But more importantly, I hope herself, myself and everyone else who has been praying finds the right heart in the presence of God. Sometimes, when our mouths can’t speak words, God listens to our hearts. It is the loudest part of us in prayer.

My best comedy show

It has always been difficult expressing myself when I find myself at a new place with new faces. Especially when there is no space to be who I like to be. All the friends I have made in the past and now are either the funnier ones, or call me funny. This experience was even more difficult, looking at the way the commandant broke the news to me. I was left with little to no option so I accepted the opportunity to serve – to be the MC for the day, which was just the next day. 

I didn’t even know what I was going to do, and how I was going to do it. So I decided that I will allow my co-MC take control whislt I remain the recessive one. I needed to come up with something quickly as a contingency in case there was no where to hide. I was not going down without a fight. That night, after the news, I couldn’t sleep. I was really nervous whilst trying to figure out what to do and if it’s going to be interesting because I was told also to try and do so in a bid to catch the attention of the campers. The theme verse for the camp was Daniel 6:10. It talked about how Daniel wouldn’t be stopped by a king’s decree, but would still go on to pray. He faced that side of His window which opened towards Jerusalem.

My roommate for the camp played a very vital role in the build-up to my show when we had a discussion about the verse and I made what sounded like a funny statement that Daniel probably had 10 windows in His upstairs room. He didn’t realise the role he had played until the main event however. From that discussion, I weaved an idea and hoped it was going to be ok, so I don’t utterly disappoint.

It was already morning, and I’m still wondering how it is that it came that fast. I was feeling even more nervous now that it was nearing the time for the start of the day’s event. I would have on any day looked at the matter in the ‘flesh’ but something within me asked that I leave it all to God by talking to Him about it. So I prayed and asked that he softens the hearts of my audience. The time was now here and there was no going back. I must say my Co-MC did the most important job that day. She actually laid the right foundation when she asked the audience to ‘focus’ on the name written on my name tag and ignore what I was telling them. She had already gotten the attention of the campers. So after an opening prayer and a camp song rehearsal, we were set to go. This is where my first question came in. I asked the campers how many windows Daniel had. A lot of answers came in. And in all, I could tell campers didn’t really think Daniel was a rich man who lived in a huge house. All answers were below 10, the number which I actually wanted. So after a while, and deliberately making my roommate wait, I called him to give an answer and he did not disappoint. I knew he remembered something from last night’s conversation. 

“Uh uh. Yes. 10 windows. You see, even in those times, Daniel was using Windows 10 and his wallpaper was Jerusalem”. That was my reaction to his answer and by the time was done, I knew KNUST had won the MC games. I can still remember the applauds and laughter. God had already soften their hearts. I just had to go on. “After the King had all the wifi disconnected, Daniel got his God-G modem and in his upstair room connected to his PC where he logged on to http://www.prayer.com. Three times a day, He surfed the webpage and stayed connected to God”. At this stage, the applause wouldn’t stop coming, and I could hear, “KNUST, no size” from a Legonite. I needed to quickly find a way to end the verse in the most educative and spiritual way. What is comedy without a moral lesson? I continued “So you see, you need to cut the times spent on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter. Grab your God-G modem and get connected to http://www.prayer.com more.” This idea, latter idea, was not rehearsed and I don’t know how it came into mind. But I know where it came from, and that was from the Man I prayed to. He went ahead as I asked Him to in my prayer before the start of the day’s activities to soften their hearts, and just like Moses, He also gave me words to say, when I faced the ‘jury’. 

At this I realised how God is actually interested in every affairs of man, and why no issue is so small to be dealt with without God. It was and still remains my best comedy show until God says I have a bigger and better one ready. Everything about you, small or big should be taken to God in prayer.

A year under review.

It is 5:29 am already, and I don’t think I’ll ever need an alarm. Like, am I buying to wake up and put it off before it sounds? Anyways, this 5:29 am that I’m awake feels very different, looking back almost a year in time when I underwent my transformation after my first Evangelical missions. This is my year under review.

I was filled with more fire for God because the 10 days spent with people who had the opportunity of knowing God really well before me became an inspiration. I had learned a lot of things and questions I had were answered before I could even raise an arm to get some attention. Most of the times, especially the discussion sessions seemed more like I was the reason those sessions were held. I ended up tagging those few days, ’10 days of love’. Because though the love was meant to be for the rural people, I felt it more. More than anyone else. 

Shortly afterwards, I was supposed to start my internship. And the story about that internship was my testimony at the missions. My gift. The details I think I would have to save for another time. I could write a whole not about it. I was back in Kumasi a few days after spending some time at my sister’s following my ’10 days of love’. My internship had started. Through all that time, I spent alone in my room at night and early in the morning before getting out to work, I knew there was a change, and I knew it had come to stay. The prayer, the Word of God. Everything changed. Even my music playlist. At 4 am, well before 5:29 am, I was awake and saying some prayers. An addiction had gone in the process. And my attitude at work was already connecting me to the right people. The internship ended after six weeks and I was back in Accra for a youth camp programme which was themed ‘Prayer’. I’m not sure I can ever forget the camp verse Daniel 6:10. Especially not when I modernized it and told campers Daniel was using Windows 10 OS way before us. That will remain my best comedy show. After the youth camp, the fire in me burnt even more and the transformation was beautifully ongoing.

Today’s 5:29 am is a very different one, and I’m trying to figure out which excuse led me up to this stage. “I don’t like people to see me pray and my roommates are also people”. Or ” wait for me, I want to come to the pool with you, and my classmates in the ‘swimsuits'”. I’m still trying to find out how I became lazy, how I have been taken aback. A year before today, and especially at such a time like this, my prayers were preparing the miracles needed in my friend’s house. I come to realise now that I’m just like any other good child of God who fell but more so one who needs to rise up and go to my Father for a restoration. I understand what it means to be disconnected from the vine now. A lady friend told me her experience with it, after she saw a palm branch fall from the stem and shortly afterwards drying up. I think I am not very different from that fallen branch, and there are other branches like me out there. I know very well the love of my Father in heaven is everlasting and I have to quickly turn back to him that I will be planted by flowing streams again. 

I put this up because I know how fast it all happened in just under a year and how I didn’t realise what was coming. If you read this and can relate to the content in any way, I will also like to tell you I still desire that transformation went through after the 10 days and you should desire it too. I know my Father loves me, and will receive me again. He will welcome me back home with a huge party. He is your Father too.

Talents.

This is a story about Dominion and Growth. “Let there be light” and “let there be” a couple of other things. Finally, “let us create man in our own image”. In the beginning, the Almighty created all things including His last one, man who He did, in His image. Man was made, and in so doing, creators too. In my natural resources management class group on the popular messaging app WhatsApp was a picture posted and in this was the most current and vivid description of man’s image – one which is the very opposite of the creators. “The devil came to steal, to kill and to destroy”.

In this picture was a depiction of how man got ‘involved’. Earth created the group and added Tree and animal. Human was very quickly added afterwards and “the rest is history”. His dominion over the other members of the group made sure his was made an admin.

Dominion is power over something which means stewardship. The power to care for and grow something that is subject to you. Dominion is not power to be abused.

Human removed trees, and animals and then rain left. And so did other members of the group. And this simple picture painted what is now the current state of the earth with humans in it. 

The message quickly got my heart broken as ‘fear’ gripped me looking at the direction we are headed and the consequences we bear. We are supposed to protect and increase what was given us. To whom much is given, much is expected. A different thing is what we see and like the story in Matthew 25:14-30, a time is coming when the little that we have, because we, out of greed behave like we do not have will be taken from us and there will be the “gnashing of teeth” when we are thrown out of the earth.

It is isn’t really hard listing the reasons why man is doing all these, but what is hard is the fact that I cannot understand why we cannot understand the importance of all these creations. This makes me ask the question whether technology and advancement in knowledge is taking away our lucidity from us. Before now, there is strong evidence that people who preceded us had understanding of how important the earth’s resources are to humans and to our survival. So the lived their lives with a vision for the generations that followed after them in mind. They were concerned about our survival. But over time, we seem to be drifting away from the image of God and creating things only after we have destroyed. This isn’t how it was meant to be. I strongly believe that.

Extractive activities may been seen as a quick way to promote wealth but what is prosperity without the beauty of nature, what is wealth without health, what is wealth without children to come and enjoy? – after all, we will leave the face of this earth someday. Whilst we are busy chasing and gathering all these riches and destroying the earth and other creations, let us not forget that we have a duty to protect and we will all account for that. We will reap what we sow, and we will have a yields weighed by the Creator someday. When the weight of our harvest is lighter than our own weights because we were involved in destroying what God said “was good”, I hope we do not forget that we will draw our side of the balance down and below us may be some hot fire we cannot escape.

I cannot fight this war alone. And the others with me in this war aren’t enough. It becomes your duty too, as you end this reading to add your voice and energy to protecting our earth. Together as one. We are because Mother Earth is. Stand for Nature Conservation, Stand for Earth.

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