Be Storm-Ready

hurricane matthew
Image of Hurricane Matthew (2016) passing through the Caribbean Season

“and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. Rev 20:13-15

This week, Storm Matthew makes its way into the Caribbean Sea, but not before dumping showers on Barbados and dragging his winds through our trees. Officials were prepared, some thought too prepared, as the impact we were bracing for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning never materialised. The island was shut down for more than 24 hours. Schools were closed for two days. And although we knew days ahead that bad weather was approaching, many Barbadians still waited until the absolute last hour to stock up on petrol or food supplies.

Many of us thanked God for his mercies as the storm veered to the north of the island. Many more of us have never experienced the impact of a severe storm, the greatest in our recent history being Hurricane Janet in 1955. Perhaps it is the child in us that wants to see trees bending and rooftops flying (not ours course), that causes some of the remarks which typically follow when a storm misses us. I heard, “4” to 6″ of rain they told us… and I woke up with the place as hot as ever!”. I heard that the Met office was in cahoots with the business sector to trick us into thinking the storm was more serious than it really was, so that we would spend more money. And I was told (and this one really took the cake) that one woman called into a radio programme demanding that the Government tell her what she was supposed to do now with all the canned food stuff she had bought in preparation for a storm that never came! I wish I was making this up!

Folks, there is a greater event that is coming. It will not miss us and we must be prepared. I am talking about the return of our soon coming King, Jesus Christ! Though prophecy points to the time when his coming is imminent, no one knows the hour. Will we be ready?

And what if God calls us home (we die) before Christ’s return? Will we be ready? Reality is that not all of us will get the luxury of determining how our final hours are going to be. Not all of us will have time to do that last-minute thing we need to do to ensure we’re prepared to face death. So why wait for the rains to come? Why wait for the storm to come raging, only to find that you were not prepared and are now exposed to its battering? Hell is no party, my friend. Be storm-ready.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I be found a faithful steward of this life you have entrusted to me so that I will have no need to fear when you come or call me home. Amen.

Love conquered… and still is the answer

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

The verse above came to mind when I read an article about a refugee father and son who recently resettled in Spain. An accompanying photo showing a smiling son walking with his dad made me feel for a brief moment that everything was going right in the world, that we were capable of surmounting hate and violence. I hoped his success would open the door for others.

The father is Syrian refugee Osama Abdul Mohsen and his son is called Zaid. He came to public attention after he was filmed being tripped up by Petra Laszlo,  a camerawoman, as he fled police near the Hungarian border with Serbia in September 2015. He was carrying Zaid, then 7, in his arms at the time. The two fell sprawling on the ground. The incident went viral thanks to social media, resulting in Laszlo being fired and a Spanish sports academy offering Mohsen a home and help in finding a job when they heard he used to coach a first division team in Syria. One article even referred to the outcome as a fairy-tale ending. That this was a blessing certainly cannot be denied. However the story is not yet ended as Mohsen’s wife and two of his sons are still in Turkey.

See photos here.

I think Laszlo made a terrible mistake, perhaps provoked by fear, the same fear that causes people to lie, to discriminate, to reject others. Without a doubt, if the police were chasing people who were “unlawfully” in our land, the inclination of many of us would be to do something to hinder them from getting away. Just read the threads of commentary following stories on the Refugee crisis. The amount of hatred being spewed by human talking about other humans is gut-wrenching. Laszlo suffered grossly because she was caught on camera… and because she was “touchable”. But what about the many “untouchables” with influence at the level of governments and international organisations that are directly or indirectly causing pain and devastation to entire communities. Who is seeking to fire them?

Claims by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) that Mohsen was a member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front which committed crimes on civilians, seem to be dark plots which threaten to keep this family trapped in a past of bloodshed and remind us of the tragedy of mankind void of God. The scriptures shows us what is at the root. It is not politics, not religion, not oil, (though these are arguably all factors). The root is man without God, the root is sin. Without God it is impossible for us to truly love one another. And if we cannot love one another, then we must dare not say we know God. 1 John 4:7,8

Prayer: Father we pray for scattered, hurting Syrian families who are in need of the very basic things many of us take for granted. Mankind’s unwillingness to know You and to walk in love, has caused much pain. The nations may not have the answers, but You do. May Your hand of love reach these families. May they find spiritual, material and emotional refuge under Your wings.

 

 

 

 

Given to Give

Then the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?” Exodus 4:2

For as long as I knew myself, stage performances cause me to beam with excitement, to become Queen of my castle. I love speaking contests, poetry and dramatic prose, particularly when I have written them.

Until the last few years, I kept this passion hidden within the walls of my local church – much to the disapproval of several persons who would keep prodding me to enter national competitions such as NIFCA. I never felt called to do more at the time though. Maybe, I lacked the confidence to do so.

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Need or Greed, which do we preach?

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

A prominent multimillionaire tel-evangelist sent sparks through the media-world when he announced in March 2015 that he was seeking 200,000 people committed to donate US$300 or more to help achieve his church’s goal to purchase a luxury aircraft, the G650 jet.

The Senior Pastor of a USA-based church reportedly remarked that he needed the jet, carrying a price tag of $65 million, to “reach a lost and dying world for Jesus Christ”.

The prosperity preacher, himself the owner of luxury Continue reading