Wrecking the family


ID-10029301Wana turns fifty-six today.  She has had a good run, she thought.  She looked forty and wished the pounds off her portly figure, her reflection in the mirror surprising her.  When was the last time she caught a glimpse of herself in a full length mirror?  No idea.  She sighed as she stared at her side-profile and turned to look  at her front once more.  The black dress hugged her heavy figure and thick legs.  Her glasses gave her a wide-eyed glare.  Her brows trimmed thin and mean gave her a look of constant surprise.  Her relaxed hair pulled up into a tight but detachable pony tail.  Wana had a theory.  When it came to hair, if you paid for it, then it’s yours!

She picked up her bag and walked to the front door, looking back to assess the room.  Thick carpets, and heavy drapes decked the room, as did woolly covers over her bedclothes.  A taste for the avant-garde and traditional suited her fine.  She clicked her tongue at her lover’s comments on her taste.  She stormed into the living room, head hell high and defiant at her memories.  Wana’s daughter called out softly, “Mama, are you leaving? But it’s so early?”  Wana swirled round, surprised her little one was awake just after dawn.  ” Sweetie, it’s okay.  It just means I will come home early and spend some time with you.”  It was days to her last day at work, after thirty years in the same institution.  ” Okay Mum,” said the sweet voice and she pushed the door shut as she turned to her cuddly toy, certain that her mother no longer cared or needed her.  Wana kept on walking, heart cold and mind focused on other thoughts.

Iron-Mama Wana stepped out into the rising sun, stomping her way down the apartment block stairs, oblivious of the clamour upsetting her neighbours.  The Guard at the gate watched her, silently sighing to himself, as his least favourite boss ambled her way toward him.  She made a mental note about moving to apartments with a lift service.  Once on the ground floor, she whipped out her keys and let the loud car alarm wake her neighbours. Wana could not care less, as she grappled with the pain of letting go of the married man whom she would have wanted  to father her child.  She tortured herself with memories of the days, week, years of their relationship and drove with aggression, muttering to herself.  Her man had abandoned her in her hour of need, forcing her out of the company they had built together and which she had driven into partial ruin within five years of his semi retirement. How could Budu do this to her?  Thirty-three years was a long time.

Budu had just turned seventy-eight and running out of steam for his business and other pursuits.  He had a mature family living across four continents and a battle-weary wife that clung to her faith and finally placed all hope in God alone.  Budu turned aetheist before many in Kenya understood what that meant.  She had always been a Christian and married her unbelieving husband in a moment of weakness.  Strange, she thought, I never regret that for a moment – my children are my delight and God’s truth, love and joy bring me great comfort.  Budu looked over at his wife, wondering what she was smiling about, as she prepared and served him breakfast.  They ate in silence, as he read the paper and shared the odd titbit.  She smiled and thanked God for these moments.  Content, she continued her silent prayers for her husband.  Budu struggled to smile, guilt eating him away and depriving him of an appetite, as he worried through the best breakfast he ever had.  Mrs. Budu noticed and remained silent, smiling at her husband and asking God for her husband’s final release from these invisible bonds.

Suddenly, Budu’s composure changed and he turned to her blurting out, “I ended it with Wana and she only has a few days left in the company.  I know you must hate me.”  He grabbed her hand and stared straight into her eyes, dreading her answer and clinging to her arm with that realisation.  Mrs. Budu smiled and drew her husband close and gently rocked him in her arms, whispering, ” I know my love, I know, God told me years ago.  And so I waited and believed this would happen.”  He sobbed into her shoulder, arms gripping her as he shook and nearly fell off his chair with grief.  His love for her engulfed him and his heart broke at the pain he had caused her.  “I am here because God wants me here but more so because I love you,” she stammered, eyes gleaming and then one large tear trickled down her face onto her chin and into his lap.

Budu and his wife chattered away as newlyweds do and bared their hearts of years of fear and suspicion.  “One more thing, my lovely wife: I accepted Jesus into my heart last night and I wanted you to be the first to know.”  Tears of joy and a loving, unspoken unity bonded them once more.  “I will ask the management to pay her off and free us of this mess once and for all.”  Mrs. Budu prayed as he made the call and the arrangements.  They stayed home all day, planning a wildlife holiday for the next few weeks and a new beginning.

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The man who hated family


  •  Image  Hot springs in a rift valley lake

    And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.

The man married the woman months after they left High School.  He spent the preceding years torturing her with the odd glance, then  months of no communication.  Her friends begged her to move on but the girl believed he would bring her the stability she craved.

Once married, he treated her with disdain, laughing with her on occasion and behaving badly the rest of the time.  Their Helper feared the man.  She said so to the new wife.  Wife, quickly pregnant, resolved to make the best of it.  Wife’s mother cried endlessly.  Wife’s brothers were so happy to have her leave home, forgetting that she is barely still a girl, innocent and now desperate.  Girl’s father had died.

Baby is born.  New wife is happy.  Once home from the hospital, new husband finds her unappealing.  His eyes follow their live-in Helper, as she fetches, cooks and cleans.  New wife is sad but resolves to make her marriage work.  One day, a brave neighbour tells new wife that new husband comes home for several hours during the day.  New wife is shocked.  New husband is making a baby with dear Helper.

New husband denies.  He lies.  He cheats and sleeps with his conscience switched off to new wife, never mind baby.  When baby cries, he tantrums, scratches, smacks, slaps and nearly throws her.  Helper grabs baby and hides.  New wife protests and cries, pleading for her place in his heart.  He hardens his heart, hastily makes peace and the cycle starts all over again.

Now she is old wife.  Helper left after her baby’s born.  New husband is now stale husband and looking older with every sneer, smirk and careless retort he gives old wife.  Baby’s growing and conscious of this strained love-hate relationship.  Baby hates this artificial bond held together by wagging tongues.  New wife grows old and cold.  She is bitter.

New husband is only new to the next conquest.  He becomes a bitter pill the family swallows afresh every day.  He is mean, harsh, angry and over-wrought with guilt.  He hates his family but is trapped in the reality the new love conquests would love to kill him off.  No one can stomach his mad-love games.  He hates his family and plays torturous games of money, business and unforgiven trespasses. Old husband acts crazy, even his friends have left his mind go to rot.

Baby meets Jesus one night in her room.  He speaks to her out of His Holy Word, soothing and calming her. Jesus rebuilds her heart with healing and love.  Baby is now a grown woman, filled with love, joy and assurance of God’s peace.  Psalm 147 is her treasure trove.  Following Jesus cures her deepest pain.  Old mother is now newborn again too!

What about the elephants?


elephant family in amboselielephants crossingsGenesis 1:21

So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

If God gifts you with something, assured that it is perfectly good, healthy, wholesome and worth safe-guarding.

So what is it with poaching? .  Elephant poaching amounts to killing these beautiful and highly intelligent beasts for their teeth!  Ivory is beautiful but would you wear bone on your person?   Would it be the currency of choice if these gentle guardians of nature help balance the ecosystem, leaving you to live in harmony wherever you choose?

Did you know that elephants are responsible for up to thirteen different tree species.  If the elephants stop ingesting the nuts of these trees, most of them would not repopulate East Africa?  Elephants scoop these seeds in their daily feed on grass and disperse the processed seeds widely, giving the environment, other wildlife and people everywhere with tree cover.

Our people and continental leaders have a tough challenge – burgeoning populations that continue to claim more wildlife territories each day, week, month and year.  The tragedy is that in every territory, the animals resident in that area inherit an intrinsic memory of the best pasture, watering holes and migratory routes.  The governments and general population remain largely unaware of this and assume fencing in wild animals solves the problem.  Others go too far and promote animal culls – creating a bloodbath of innocent death, albeit non-human.

If our wildlife balance culled, then we will pass on ‘silent savannah’ occupied by decaying carcasses of the remaining wildlife, , as we continue to upset nature’s God-ordained balance. Central and West Africa have the challenge of silent forests – gleaned of all the beautiful wildlife they once had.  Traded or eaten.  Ebola exported to various parts of the world.  Can we afford to accelerate this trend?

The ivory trade is linked to terrorism and cruel political gains in this part of the world.  We as Africans who love their continent need your support and prayer – stave off the growing demand for ivory trinkets and other game trophies.  If you love wildlife and cannot wait for the next wildlife documentary; if you hope that your children and their children can enjoy wildlife tales and travel, then support us and sign up to iWorry, Save the Elephants, Born Free’s Bloody Ivory and WWF.  Say NO to bloody ivory, say NO to endless wildlife deaths.

Rebuild and Restore


2 Corinthians 13:9 

For we are glad when we are weak and You are strong.  Your restoration is what we pray for.

Nehemiah – what a character!  Cool, calm, collected, obedient (to God and king), prayerful and willing to stand in your weakness (true self) before God, as He waited on God.  Or was he?  It seems Nehemiah let God’s Holy Spirit act through him, giving him the right attitude and temperament to approach the Persian king for support in his campaign to rebuild Jerusalem’s fallen walls.  How can I become God’s vessel of wisdom, grace, mercy and love at this time? Only prayer, belief, trust in Him will surrender me to God’s transformation. Oh that I might know Him for myself.

God wants His best for us – not our best!  I am thankful for that, even as I face hurdles because His knowledge precedes and supersedes everything! God knows all things, after all He is our Creator.  So I am thankful that in this time of rest, I can set my mind to His rebuild and restore.  Rest now with prayer.  Rest and trust Him.  Pray and trust God.  I am finally beginning to enjoy this walk – late bloomers are welcome too, just are Baptists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics and unbelievers.  What a treat!  Are you ready?

Courage we need


Joshua 1:9

Hwilderness poolsave I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

There are times we face battles that cause us fear and trepidation.  God asks and commands us to be strong and courageous.  Immediately, I imagine interjecting with,

‘Okay Lord, but did you see Joshua’s muscles?’

or ‘Moses had Aaron, who will you send me out with?’

or ‘Joseph lived in the palace under the King’s protection. Where would you send me?’

Ludicrous and unrealistic.  Sad but true.

Thing is, these Bible greats were simple, weak people with abundant faults and frequent fears.  Moses stuttered  badly, to the point of being incoherent if not inaudible.  Joshua was a young soldier that had to depend entirely on God to finally bring the walls of Jericho down, without arms or battle.  Joseph had nothing else apart from hope, trust and prayer.  They were average people obedient to an extraordinary, living and supernatural God.

As we sat through Bible study this week, this point came across.  Humbled and learning, we take heart in what God has for us.  The battle is on and God is our sole source, our hope, providence, defence, strong tower, Redeemer, Saviour.  In Him alone do we have reason for continued hope, trust and joy.  What are you thoughts on this today?

Taste and See


  • Psalm 34:8 

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    Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

 

Time to taste God through prayer and waiting.  Time to sit at His feet, seek His face and be.  Time to soak up every cell in my body and marinate in His Holy Spirit.

Lord, I apologise for rushing through my day; leaping out of bed and ending the day badly.  I forget the One who loves me more than life itself.  You love me more than I could ever love myself and much more than I comprehend.

I love you dearly and now I turn to you, to taste, test and see for myself how awesome and wonderful You are!

Unfollow the herd, pack or pride


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Proverbs 28: 26 – “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

God created animals with a deep instinct for His will. Elephants and other grazing wild animals follow set routes and paths, in migratory patterns that still baffle mankind.  Wild animals appear to be obedient to an invisible God, our God.  Their regular and constant patterns of migration are so impressive that the game crossing of wild grazers from Kenya’s Maasai Mara into Tanzania’s Serengeti are dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World.

Sometimes I wonder if He should have done the same for Man and then laugh it off.  Then again, it would make obedience a no-brainer!  God loved us so much, that He gave us free will.  The first few times I read the Bible and came across Adam and Eve failing the free-will test, I would lose hope and courage to read any further.  It is then I remember other Biblical personalities and rest in the understanding that God is ultimately in control of all things.  My courage, trust and hope boosted, I read on and relish every word God has written out for us.

The most critical decisions can send us into ‘follow the herd mode’.  Voting, choice of friends, partners, spouses and choice of work.  Fear rules and governs us in the moment, beating us down further than we would wish for.  Fear and intimidation are spirits that work in tandem and prayer is the best beat-down remedy for them.

As our elections are upon us, I find myself inclined to pray, binding and casting out all spirits of fear, intimidation, deception and pretence.  We need stability and peace, not fighting and fleecing!  Pray with us for wisdom and calm to prevail.  Our nation has so many needs, ranging from employment, security, clean water, environmental and wildlife security and sane politics!  Pray with us that the enemy of terrorism and other spiritual interests are shaken-off for the last time.

If we are separate and distinctly superior to animals, then why do we abdicate our God-given rights to follow the herd?  We follow the herd to please, appease and fit-in.  But why do that when God wants you to trust and obey Him? Entrapment is unrelated to God’s plan for you and imprisonment is spiritual confinement.  Rise up or man up and face life with purpose and intent.  We are the children of the King.  He calls us family and family we should aspire to.  It is time to break away from the pack or herd and lead (in our own small way) as God would have us do.

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