Friday, 26 October 2012

ABORTION: DO IT



I like to write about controversial issues, not because I am controversial but rather I like to put things straight. I decided to challenge the status quo to help free many from religious and traditional bondage ever since I was a teenager.
Abortion is one of such controversial issues, taking several twists and turns in Christian debates. Many think abortion is evil; others think that it is acceptable depending on the stage of the pregnancy.
Abortion is one of the critical issues Americans are considering before they choose their president in November.   I believe the unborn child should be saved. After all, “we are all here because some two people (a male and a female decided) to have sex.”
The Church of Jesus Christ holds the same view (as I do) when it comes to abortion but the church indirectly supports abortion. The church most of the time do not offer solutions; she only tells people the problems they have. That is too cheap. The church can do more than that by offering people practical solutions. For instance, the church tells people not to fornicate but the church doesn’t tell people what to do not to fornicate. Many churches are obsessed with the “thou shalt not sin” gospel; very few of them are telling us how to be filled with the Holy Spirit; (how) to renew our mind daily; (how) to meditate on the Word day and night, and (how) to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
People do have sex mostly for pleasure. I doubt if many are having sex for babies, unless those who desperate for a child just to prove someone wrong. It is not surprising that there is so much information flying around on how to have ‘earth trembling’ sweet-sex than information on how to have sex to have babies. The point is vivid: many have sex for enjoyment or satisfaction.
The ‘problem’ is that God has already established his scheme: The method of bringing forth a new being. He is not going to change it. Sex can and will lead to pregnancy when the process is not interrupted by something else. Sex most of the time leads to pregnancy. The challenge however is that many don’t want the human-product of sex always; and that is what leads to or drives abortion.
Most women (sometimes together with their partners) abort because of a myriad of reasons (Married people also do resort to abortion; it will shock you to find out how many of them do). One of the reasons that push people to abort includes the feeling of not being able to effectively parent the child. This feeling has its roots in difficulties in finances, young age, emotional stability and parenting skills.
The fact is many women (sometimes together with their partners) feel overwhelmed and scared [about their future with the unwanted child]. Women are most vulnerable when it comes to pregnancy and abortion. They feel the pain most when they can’t fend for their babies. It isn’t surprising that there are more single moms comparatively to single dads.
But what is the church doing? The church thinks that it can brush off issues or problems by making available a list of do’s and don’ts. The church most of the time do not deal with issues at the root level. This creates an atmosphere of hope (and work-done) based on fallacy.
The church must teach in details about “how not to fornicate” or “how to control your sexual urge” to single people. The church must lead the way in educating (holistically) married people in the effective (or necessary) usage of birth control.
The church needs to support single mothers; and not to make them feel like sinners condemned to hell. The church should take conscious effort to church the ‘unchurched’ single mom. The church should see to it that no single mom walks alone. The church can meet the needs of single parents and make them the “church”.
An economic crisis is looming; people will not stop having sex; world population will skyrocket in the face of dwindling resources. If the church does not sit up; she will be telling people indirectly to carry on with abortion in the face of crisis. Abortion; please don’t do it.


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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

SLOW DOWN, BREAK….



Do you remember the creation story? It is reported that God rested on the seventh day. I however realized that God did not rest because he was tired (the Bible didn’t indicate that). I don’t think he gets tired. But this also shows us the immense significance of rest in the life of an individual.
In our mutant world there seem not to be enough time for our daily endeavours. Young people and old ones are constantly frustrated; they never seem to have enough time for themselves. I believe many wished a day was more than 24 hours.
We live in an age where success is the order of the day. Motivational speakers and the likes constantly bombard us with the need to be successful. There is so much blazoning out to be successful; to achieve a little more. There pressure is so much that a lot of people feel guilty when they find themselves resting. Others have no time to rest at all. Some try to ‘wobble’ in the gains of resting by resorting to drugs or alcohol.
Slow down, take a break: please you need to rest. I don’t care what you doing. I don’t care who you doing that for. I don’t care the lives that depend on you. It doesn’t matter whether you are in God’s purpose for you or not, you need to rest.

SLAVES OF WORK
Have you ever slept? How did you feel when you woke up from a good sleep? Good, of course. I believe ‘sleep’ is a blessing from God. The subject however is not “sleep” but “rest”. No matter how “meaningful” or purposeful your life is, if you don’t find balance in life and you continue to work assiduously; then you have become a slave to work. Deal with that disorder – the compulsion to work.
I specified earlier on that God did not rest because he was tired. That’s profound and provides us with something to contemplate deeply about. Isn’t it sad what our fast paced world has turned to? Our society has placed much premium on net worth, financial security and careers. Many measure their worth base on the kind of work they do. How sad!  This is a great error and fallacy.
May be you think you are working for God so you must always be doing something. Big time employment, studies, work, projects, tasks and “to do” lists in themselves are not sin or wrong. But when we allow other people or ourselves to place too many demands on us, then we miss the greatest gift God gives to man – the gift of rest, recreation and relaxation.
It is a known fact that every day, 130 million Americans report for work, but 12 do not return home because they are killed on the job. I now understand why many workers dread Mondays. I now get the reason why research indicates that so many people die on Mondays out of heart diseases. There are too many people trapped in one endeavor or the other – slaves of labour.  We all need a paradigm shift of our viewpoint of work. Work does not provide the identity or value we can gain by relating to our Creator.

SOMETHING YOU NEED TO RUMINATE
Genesis 2:2 says, And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”  This can also be translated literally as, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he desisted from exertion on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”  Isn’t that beautiful? That is appropriate because we know God did not actually finish on the seventh day. Though he had created Eve (out of nothing), he hadn’t formed her (out of something). So God literally had some little work to do.
Even God knows how to “rest and be refreshed” (Exodus 31:17). Why shouldn’t you do the same? This has made me understand why God insisted or instructed ancient Israel to put to death anyone who defiled the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14). 
You might think that God was wicked, ruthless and heartless. But I think this gives us an indication of the character of the heart of the Israelites. These were stubborn people (Deuteronomy 31:27). These were people who irrespective of what God did for them wouldn’t believe. God knew them (and the character of their hearts so well that for his love for them he had to push them to the wall, just to obey.
Most of us like the Israelite would work all our waking if we had our own way. Our excuse will be life’s demands.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Hebrew words translated ‘Sabbath’ in the Bible means “to desist from exertion”, “pause” or “break”. Jesus rightly said in Mark 2:27 that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. That was the intention or purpose of God for ancient Israel.
God did not establish the Sabbath to keep man in bondage or give man another ritual. It was for the good of man. God wants you to take a break or pause and be in contact [interaction, communication, and an exchange] with him.


HOW TO REST/RELAX
Resting is not just sleeping. It can be very lucrative. The hospitality industries make it look like resting must be expensive. After all they are looking for more profits. You don’t have to go to someplace or buy something to rest. Here are some practical, cheap and easy ways to relax or rest:
LIVE ONE DAY AT TIME: Are you always worrying about what tomorrow brings? Do you live in the future? Seeking what to get or do in the future can cause so much fretfulness. This is not good for your health? Rather, live today to its fullest, plan for tomorrow and allow tomorrow to take care of itself. Trust in God and find comfort in Matthew 6:25-34.
ENJOY NATURE: Roman 1:20 says, “Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all!”
Slow down and take time to enjoy creation. When you find yourself out of home (or at the countryside) pause to look at the trees and flowers. Listen to the birds as they sing; watch them as they scurry. Let the sun shine on your face sometimes and let the rain sprinkle on you. Take delight in the aroma of the earth on a wet day. Enjoy a mountain scene. Enjoy the sound of the waters or rivers gushing or flowing over the rocks. I bet you; you will find God in all these.

THOU SHALT NOT BE SERIOUS: I love to be serious in life but I love it more when I take things easy. The fact that life is a serious business of which we take no vacation does not mean you don’t have to laugh. Learn to laugh about almost everything. I love to keep friends who are highly humorous and can create a joke out of anything.
Consider how children laugh about almost everything. Children do not take themselves too serious. They don’t use drug, neither do they use alcohol yet they laugh. They are always cheerful. “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14).
 Surround yourself with friends that can make or help you laugh happily. Most of the time, I crack silly jokes when I meet people. But many don’t understand the import. Many think I am not serious but I want people to feel at ease and calm always. Purpose in your heart to give the people you meet a kind smile always.

HAVE CONFIDENCE IN GOD:  There are many working overtime and having more than two jobs because they think they have to make enough to forestall any unforeseen events. But the truth is they don’t trust God.  Rather than fight life battles on your own lay the burden on Jesus. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”, says Matthew 11:28 of the King James Bible.
1 Peter 5:7 of the Living Bible says, “Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” Isn’t that wonderful?

MEDITATE &REFLECT: Whatever you stay your mind on controls you – your today and tomorrow. Whatever you focus your mind on determines your character. In other words, you follow what you think about mostly. You become the thing(s) you set your mind on. Whatever you put or ‘tour’ your mind on create its own world around you. It generates the forces that rule your world or you. It actually puts to death all other things and possesses your whole being. No wonder Yoga has gained much popularity. But what Yoga offers is a sham. The popularity of Yoga indicates the desire and emptiness in the human heart.
There is nothing better to stay [tour, ponder, set and focus] your mind on than the Bible. The Word of God can create the right world, character and forces around. It is better to become the Word than any other thing. That is why I always advocate that the mind of a person is more important than his/her spirit.
If you find yourself to be in a too busy or problematic world and you seek to escape; go for the Word of God. Nothing can be compared to escaping into the world of the Word of God. Many are looking for inspiration and relaxation in the wrong places – look unto the Word. Meditation is one of the neglected precepts in Christianity. It’s amazing that many Christians have relegated meditation to the background when it is far more important than most of the rituals they practise. Take time to meditate on the Word of God daily.
The yardstick in meditation is that you never forget what you meditate on. That means, if after your meditation you don’t remember what you meditated on then you didn’t really meditate. Christian meditation can catapult into dimensions that can revolutionize your life forever (I will write more about meditation another time).
Another thing you can do is to reflect on the beauty of the Lord. This can help you come to terms with the goodness of the Lord. Reflection will help you recognise many things you ignore in your relationship with the Lord.
Moreover, you can choose to reflect and analyse your life. This can help you prepare for the future in a better way since you will notice where you faltered in your past. Everyone who recognises hi/her mistakes never desires to repeat them. Reflection can tone down the pace at which the world around you is moving. Choose to reflect as often as you can since it holds the prize of a better and effective future.  
BE GRATEFUL: Grateful people always have peace and are always at rest. Make it a point to be thankful at all times even when things are not going well. You don’t need to have everything to be thankful. Rather be thankful for the little things in your life.
Remember it is good to work but it is better to work and at the same time take time when necessary to rest. God wants you to work but at the same time he wants you to rest too. If that was not the case he wouldn’t have created sleep. You don’t need to go on a vacation to rest neither do you need to visit a spa to get rest, get going; go get a rest.

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Saturday, 20 October 2012

WAITING FOR A HUSBAND



D
o you feel trapped in your single life? Do you think you are lonely? Or do you think you’ll never find a husband?
Young ladies normally dream of that day when prince charming will come and take their hand in marriage; many stay their fantasies on that big day – the wedding day. Young ladies get to see friends and family marry and so wait for their turn. However, the problem is that most young girls believe that marriage will just happen to them when they get to adulthood. “Prince charming will surely come from somewhere”, they say and desire.  But Prince charming does not always come.
This prince charming sometimes seems not be anywhere around them (the young ladies); this is the case for some young girls. In the culture of those endeavoring to follow God faithfully, there is an expectation for marrying for life. In fact many in this category try as much as possible to be good to people; make a lot of friends with the opposite sex; read the Word daily, and attend Church and Bible studies regularly. They do all this hoping that God will bring them a life partner. When these ladies realize that prince charming will never come; they vent their spleen on God and feel God has forgotten them. Others think they might have done something wrong to not yet be wed.
So what is the real deal? Is right to be searching for a potential mate in every corner? Is there something better than romance and marriage that you need to be looking out for? A-r-e you l-o-n-e-l-y? A right perspective can be of great benefit. It will help you chart the course of your life in the right direction.

TIMES HAVE CHANGE
Let’s face it, times have change. Marriage used to be arranged by parent even before one was ready for it. Many use to marry at a younger age than now. Marriage was something society expected from us (it still does). Marriage was for an economic advantage (it is somehow the same now).
Marriage then I will say had a 100% success rate. I attribute this to the fact that couples were put in a position where they have to just learn to love one another. Isn’t it amazing that they had such a success rate though most of them didn’t live together or date before settling down?
Now, marriage is something else. Everyone has to find his/her own mate and bring them home. Many are praying, fasting and chanting for a partner.
Moreover, some have bought into the idea that marriage is no longer what we knew traditionally to be. Marriage, they say, is between any two people that love each other even if they are of the same sex. These ones are experimenting with other modus vivendi and living arrangements that totally violate God’s original idea for marriage.
For those who want to remain single being sexually promiscuous is another way to enjoy some of the goodies that come with marriage and still remain free – without commitment. Such people think God understands. After all, he knows they don’t want a life partner yet need the goodies.
Additionally, it hard more than ever to find a mate who shares the desire to follow God. There are many who are religious but not into God for real. There are many who are just aliens to and for our marriage ambitions.
We live in an age where there is a super access to information or knowledge. Many principles are on sale; and many seem to be buying. You can hardly find ten people that belong to the same organization, group or church that holds the same values or beliefs about a particular thing.
More and more people are getting less interested in marriage. More than ever, men and women do not want to commit to a lifelong, faithful, true-love marriages. Many want to have the things that come with marriage but don’t want to commit. Today, artificial insemination and surrogacy is gaining popularity than ever. In Africa however, many men rather prefer to get a (relationship with any) woman who just give birth for them and won’t ask for commitment to surrogate mothers. Women alike also seek to have one or two kids and forgo the burden of ‘submitting’ to a man.
During my school days, many confided in me that they would have wished not to marry. These were highly pious guys. They were interested in goodies but not the process that brings them. They saw marriage as a too risky venture with gargantuan encumbrance. Fantasy is what we want but reality is what we get. Some however settled for marrying late in life.
This is how far our world has come to. These make it seem that a potential mate is out of reach.

THE REAL THING
“So why don’t I have a boyfriend or husband”, you may ask. There could be several reasons. It could be that God knows you are not prepared for such a life. He loves you so much to let you get one and regret like others. So he is giving you extra time to work on yourself for that special person (“this suggestion is not law”).
Many also wonder why they have down all the necessary things yet are single. Those who delight themselves in the Lord expect God to bestow on them marriage. People in this fold may feel God has dejected and disappointed them.
Slow down, relax! God is not in the business of bestowing on the people he loves marriage. In other words, God does not tune anyone’s mind to get him/her marry someone. Marriage is based on the personal decision that people take to join their lives to that of others.  God is ready to guide people in making that decision but he is not in the business of ‘arranging’ marriages – not that I know of. So don’t blame God when after all your make-ups the guy you are eyeing is still not interested. God respects the will of people; you should also do the same even when you think they are in the wrong.
Marriage, no matter what you think about it, is God’s personal strategy to keep his plan working. That is why marriage no matter how wonderful it is, will not last for eternity (Matthew 22:30).
What about those of us who have cast all hopes on Psalm 37. Don't be worried on account of the wicked; don't be jealous of those who do wrong. They will soon disappear like grass that dries up; they will die like plants that wither. Trust in the LORD and do good; live in the land and be safe. Seek your happiness in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desire.  Give yourself to the LORD; trust in him, and he will help you; he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun. Be patient and wait for the LORD to act…” (Psalm 37:1-7).
 You are not alone if you feel umbrage and abandoned by God after so many years of following God’s command, while waiting for your own hopes, prayer and expectations to be met.
A better understanding or perspective of Psalm 37 can help simmer down your pain from all those periods of debilitating doubts, recurring questions, internal struggles, and lonely nights. I have also struggled with the same scripture. Many struggle with this scripture when their expectations seem not to be met by God when it is obvious they have done everything right. It can be a great struggle especially when you think you need a mate baldly and you haven’t found one.
The truth is many do not marry. Others marry much later than they anticipated. This can be the case due to a myriad of reasons. The truth is that God never promised us in Psalm 37 that he will get us whatever we desire. What he said was that if He is our delight; our desires will be produce by him. This means that our delighting in the Lord generates desires in our hearts that are consistent with God’s purpose for our lives. Such desires of the heart are automatically granted since God himself is over ambitious to see their fulfillment in our lives. This is the only way we can find true peace.
Have you come to the point of totally trusting in the Lord? Have you made up your mind to accept His will for your life whatever it is?

I STILL NEED A MAN
We often feel single because we lose track of the fact that there are many out there that need us. (I am not talking about those who need us for marriage.) There are many, male and female, young and old who need us to be their friends.
Singlehood can be very beneficial and an active phase in our lives. There are many churches and organization that need people who aren’t restricted by marriage or family responsibilities to help get things done. Endeavour not to be alone since that can lead to feeling lonely.
Instead of isolating yourself, phone a friend, learn a new language, pursue life goals; get in touch with others. Take advantage of your singleness in a positive way by being out-going. Choose to make your singlehood free of boredom.
More importantly, talk to God about how you feel. Contentment is only possible when we believe and trust that God has not forgotten us. Try to respond to God’s intention for your life by being His witness: proclaiming His love and gospel. Being single can give us the opportunity to do this more freely.
While you do all this, join groups in God’s church. This will offer you the opportunity to meet singles of the opposite sex. Get to know them for their character and personality, not just for their looks. Be in contact with God, be friendly, by learning social skills and be a good listener. While you do this, don’t worry about whether you are meeting Mr Right or not. As you do this, the husband you’ve been waiting for will arrive – you will know it – God is ready to help you notice him/her if you will ask for his help. Invite me for the weeding after he has arrived. 



Copyright © 20012.  Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah
All Rights Reserved. Any duplication, transfer or manipulation of the content of this article without prior permission is prohibited.
 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

SEXUALITY AND CHRISTIANITY: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

From the Bible, sex is not supposed to be between a man and a woman, surprise! That is exactly what the Bible teaches. The only form of ‘legal’ sex is the one between the husband and the wife. (1 Corinthians 6:12- 1Cor 7:5 & Eph 5:5)
The husband is the one with ‘real’ male genitalia; and the wife being the one with ‘real’ female genitalia.


SEXUAL RIGHTS
The Christian faith does not support a man’s or woman’s moral and legal right to follow her conscience in the matters of sexuality and reproductive health.
Who touches whom? Who kisses or pets whom? Who experience pleasure in sex? These are questions that can be answered by our creator through the Holy Book, the Bible!

THE PERSON OF JESUS


For some Charles Darwin or Albert Einstein, for others, the Prophet Mohammed or Mahatma Gandhi, yet to others, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, or Leonardo da Vinci, or Plato, or Socrates, the name goes on; …is the  greatest man that ever lived. These men are men who have contributed in one way or the other to the development of the world. Among them are men who were of great physical strength, mental power, military genius, great insight and wisdom. These men are personalities that I admire, respect and draw inspiration from. But, no man ever existed and will ever exist in the field of economics, banking, religion, science, art, politics or whatever that can be compared unto Jesus. None compares!
Jesus is just not a dominant figure in history; he is an outstanding personality of all time. He is the greatest human being and the most wonderful thing, ever to happen to the world. Not only did he influence his generation, but his influence continues to mount.
It is obvious that, if we ever needed a role model or ‘standards of living’, then we would have to look unto Jesus. He should be your standard for life.

THE DEMEANOR OF JESUS
Jesus exclaimed in Matthew 8:20 that the Son of Man has no place to lay his head, yet he did not have an austere lifestyle. Probably, Jesus was trying to say that, he had no permanent residence, but rather dwells where he is welcomed or received always. This is because Jesus was always on the move. He denied himself that much (luxury) to get close to those he wanted to reach. In John 1:39, the disciples of John came to where Jesus dwelt, which means, he didn’t sleep under trees.
“A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. (Proverbs 11:1, KJV) In other words, Jesus was balance in his life. He was a social and a spiritual guy (John 2:1 – 11). He did go for weddings and I believe he even went for parties, naming ceremony and others. The only thing about Him was that he knew his priorities (John 4: 34).
Jesus was a wild man. A lot of people have the notion that Jesus had a placid personality and was weak physically. But that was not the case, the Bible shows us that he increased in stature, and was vigorous and strong. (Luke 2: 52). It took him so much strength and energy to drive away the merchants with their goods from the temple. He had zeal for God (John 2: 14 – 17). Jesus was not one who was fearful. He faced the soldiers that were sent to arrest him. He was very courageous (John 18: 4 – 9). In raising Lazarus from the dead, the Bible say Jesus cried out loudly, “Lazarus, come out!” He did not say with a quiet voice: “Lazzy, Lazzy, please come out.” (John 11:41).
He was compassionate and loving.  One of the greatest virtues of Jesus was his readiness to help other people (out of their problems) He had compassion on the crowd and fed them. (Matthew 15:32 and Isaiah 40:11) Jesus healed the son of the widow. (Luke 7: 13 – 15) Due to the benevolence of our Lord, his fame went throughout all Syria. (Matthew 4:24). It is obvious that the ‘guy’ was famous. If Jesus was to be around today, what would have been of his fame; would have been inconceivable.
Christ’s love is incomparable and everlasting (John 13:1); such that he laid his life for his friends and even his enemies.
Humbleness or lowliness of heart was a key virtue that Jesus had. (Matthew 11:29) In our world today, we are taught to strive for success, because of that when we have something that another does not, we look down on them and feel we are better than them. The Bible teaches that Jesus was humble even unto death (He allowed himself to be lead to the slaughter) – Isaiah 53: 7. It is important for Christians to inculcate such a virtue; it will help us reach out to the lost (Philippians 2:5 – 6)
Holy, righteous, true, faithful, just, sinless, spotless, blameless; are some of the words that describe Jesus’ degree of perfection. If you want to know how real a thing is, look unto Jesus – he is truth and reality (John 1:14). Jesus was and is a personality that anyone would want to have as a friend (1 Thessalonica 5:24). He was a good friend of Lazarus and he’s still a good friend of many. He had such an excellent way in approaching people with different opinions: in love he allowed them to express themselves, then, he showed them the right thing, not forcing his beliefs on them (Mark 9:33 – 37). Furthermore, he knew no sin and no lie was found in him (Hebrew 7:26) – Holy.
In Jesus’ time, women and children were considered as minors. Yet Jesus accorded to both women and children the needed attention and dignity (John 4:7 – 26 and Mark 10: 13 – 16). Those that were always driven away, he welcomed and gave them company. He treated people not with prejudice, contempt or disdain. Jesus was a man that could be approached easily. Though he was a man with no error, he was able to condescend to the level or place of imperfect people. Through such behaviour, many gain salvation. (Luke 7:37 – 50)
The issue is this, he was good in judging, he judged rightly and perfectly. That is not true of many people today, we judge people with prejudice.
Jesus was obedient, wise and dutiful. In Luke, chapter 2; Jesus’ parent searching for him, found him in the temple. Bible say, Jesus was subjected to them, when they came for him. That’s amazing; he was one that respected his parents. During his last days on the earth, he entrusted the care of his mother to the care of his disciples. What a man!! (John 19:26, 27)
This man was impartial in all his ways; just as God is. What he did for one person, he did for the other, under the same condition.

MORE THAN A MAN OF CHARACTER
Jesus of Nazareth was all of the above and more. He is more than a prophet, a good person; he is the one who has the form of God (Philippians 2:5). He is greater than Moses and Solomon. He is the Lord and saviour of all those in the earth. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. No one ever spoke like him and no one ever made the claims he made. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus said: “Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (NLT)
Jesus’ life on earth teaches us a lot of things; and provides a standard for us that a human should conduct his life after on this earth to please God. But, his death offers salvation from sin, disease and death. I invite you to consider the ways of this Jesus, and give yourself to Him (Romans 10:8 – 10) and follow closely his examples.

Monday, 15 October 2012

YEARLY ENJOYMENT (LIVING WITH A PURPOSE)


We     enter every year with a lot    of expectations. It is a popular ritual to see a lot of people, even those who have not been church for ages at watchnight service. At this service, everyone try to get a share of God’s blessings, favour and grace for the coming year. We declare and claim a lot of goodies. A lot of prophecies are pronounced in our favour; we get high and feel so charged up for the next year. After all this, we go home and act as if we never prayed before entering the year – the value is the same.  We   write   down New Year resolutions every year and aim high – setting gigantic New Year goals. The first quarter of the year will not be half way through and people will start throwing in the towel – failure galore. Life returns to normal till we get to the end of the year. It is then that we begin to hope for a better time next year. Life must not be that way. Life can be good, better and best.

It is the will of God for us to improve and have new beginnings every single year. It’s therefore necessary for us to be connected to Him for a great year each time.
During festive  seasons  and  special  occasions,  our  love ones wish us good and  the best, as  this has  become  a custom or ritual. But a wish remains a wish if you don’t have a plan. It is also not enough to plan. Commitment to implementing a set goal or plan is a great virtue.

Let me share with you 3 things you must enter the year with to make the most out of it:
1) You must enter the year with GOD’S PLAN: In today’s world most people know the importance of planning. What we do not realise is that there is someone who knows what tomorrow brings and therefore is the best consultant from whom we can seek help when it comes to planning. We must also understand that God is passionate about our well being more than we are. It is only prudent to enter the year with his plan. Entering the year with God’s plan does not happen by the push of a button. It involves building a strong relationship with him and yielding to his will. Unfortunately, we don’t like it that way. We want instant methods and techniques so we jump to watchnight service hoping to grab a “a magic stick”. Things do not work this way.
 If God is truly your friend, He will reveal to you His plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11-13). God plan what the earth should look like, before creating it. In the same He planned what you should do, be and be like. Before the foundation of the world he had planned that Christ will die for the sins of many (Ephesians 1:4). He has a special plan for you this coming year.  Seek it/them and you will find.
It is good to have plans but developing the habit of planning God out of your plans is suicidal. A plan is not good, until it acknowledges God.
God’s plan for your life will let you have;
1)      a quality life
2)      longevity of life
3)      direction in life
4)      purpose of life


2) You must enter the year with GOD’S PURPOSE:  The Greek word translated purpose means intent, reason or original   reason. Purpose is the intention of   God   for creating. It is that which gives your life an importance. It is the engine room for your life. There is that purpose that is godly and there is one that is amiss. The intentions behind our lofty goals are just pathetic in the eyes of God. There are so many funny reasons we want to have something or do something next year. Our intent is one fuelled by greed, jealousy, pride, ostentation, malice etc.
God’s purpose does not only expose God’s intention but it also gives us the drive, motivation and inspiration to do what God want us to do. One thing about godly purpose is that it has the ability to maintain inspiration and motivation. Many start well but give up too early.  Purpose gives you the reason to plan strategically, generational and potentially.   The absence of purpose is abuse.


3) You must enter the year with GOD’S
PROVISION:
 God is abundant in resources. He has more than enough. If he has given you the vision, the provision is a certainty.  We can learn this from Abraham, when God told him to sacrifice his only son – Isaac. God had a plan, he knew the purpose for the plan and at the end made the provision available (Genesis 22: 1 – 15).

 In all this, it is clear that to enjoy your new year you must stay connected to God. Make up your mind that you will not go to church to be serve religion but to be provoked by the man of God for growth. During worship allow God to reveal His dreams concerning your life to you. In   this way He will direct your path and provide you with what you need for your destiny to be fulfilled.
Surround yourself with people that increase you. Be friends with those who will tell you your dreams are possible and cut off all unprofitable friendship.
Always remember; “many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21).
It is God’s desire for you to enjoy life to the fullest but you have a role to play. Live with a purpose. God bless!



Copyright © 2012.  Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.
All Rights Reserved. Any duplication, transfer or manipulation of the content of this article without prior permission is prohibited.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A CHRISTIAN MYTH


The statement, “Jesus wept” I believe is ubiquitous in Heaven’s community. Jesus weeps, has wept and will continue to weep because of a cheap mindset or philosophy many Christians hold in regard to changing the world.
The dictionary.com defines a mindset as “a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.” A myth on the other hand is an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.
Christians over the years have held the belief that situations will be better if Christians hold political positions all over the world. Over the years, it has become a common thing to see Christians pray for a Christian to be elected president of a country.

Friday, 12 October 2012

ROMANTIC GYMNASTICS


Romans; no romance! Hmmm…! Men and women think of different things when it comes to romance but they surely share something in common when we talk about romance. What comes in mind when you hear the word ‘romance’?
I know what you thought of when you saw the word ‘romance’. Maybe you were thinking of candlelight; soft and soothing music; long looks; eyes locked; twirling of hair; holding hands; a walk in the park; or were you thinking of lingerie…hmmm!
Relax! Romance no matter how you will define it; is the act of wooing one another. It is a longing to be with someone and acting in such a way that makes the person wants to be with you. Do you remember the first day you met? Do you remember when he proposed? Do you remember when you said “I do”?
For many, romance is easy at the beginning of a relationship. Something that dies out with time as the relationship or marriage grows old. Many married people have confessed to me that the elation, ecstasy and bliss in marriage last for only a year. “If you are fortunate it will last for two years”, they normally add. It is obvious that after some time of being together financial pressures, annoying habits; may be kids and other things will eat away the longing you had for each other. This can be attributed to the natural tendency of feeling that you guys have arrived. Settling down must not be an end in itself but a means to an expected end.
For those who are still in relationships and have not yet arrived at marriage, to some extent manage to maintain the ‘romance’ at an appreciable level. However, after some time of being in a relationship; the romance begins to dwindle. But should that be the case?
The truth is that couples or lovers may not have troubled marriages or relationships but the tenderness and physical affection that they enjoyed earlier is compromised. How do you prevent such situations from coming your way? How fit is your romantic life?
Romance must be intentional – a decision that both parties must take – a decision to keep the romantic cravings alive daily. Desire, though a key part of romance must be preceded by a decision. Without desire the act of wooing can be unsuccessful. Yet it is important to take the decision to be romantic against all odds if you want romance to last forever in your relationship. You must avoid waiting for the desire to come before you decide to be romantic. Choose rather to be in the mood always. When the decision is made, surely the desire will follow.
If you are not intentional, the heat of passion will likely turn into the warmth of companionship in your marriage or relationship. That warmth can cool into a cordial relationship that resembles two roommates rather than two lovers.
Marriage is God’s provision to meet our deep longing for a close and intimate relationship. He puts a man and woman together and uses their respective weaknesses and strengths to make them stronger as a team. In marriage God calls people to put aside their selfishness, commit themselves to another person unconditionally, and assume responsibility for others. Understanding marriage in such a way and building such a perspective can fuel you up to take the initiative to keep the romance in your relationship still burning.
Hit the road running and ensure that your boyfriend/girlfriend remains your prince charming or Cinderella even after you guys settle. Start your romantic gymnastics now to keep your love life alive through the test of time.

By Jacob Dapaah

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