Surviving the Storms of life

by Herbert Mtowo

I have sometimes felt like Job. God has, because of his trust in my faith in him, allowed storm after storm to happen in my life. The Bible tells us: “it came to pass.” When in the midst of these storms I felt they would never end. They have passed, but the scars remain: Mike’s way of walking may never be perfect. Herbert’s body may have many scars, aches and pains. Todd’s paralysis may never go away. But one thing that I know that doesn’t stay forever is storms, they come and they go.

The challenges of life come to each and every one of us. None of us are exempt from adverse situations and circumstances. Trials of varied kinds are faced by people of all color, race, religion and languages. That’s life. So do not feel as though you are all alone, dealing with something that no one else ever dealt with, or is dealing with it in the present. Regardless of how things seem, it is a fact that others are facing the same storms. However, people approach their difficulties differently; hence they receive divers’ results. Some get discouraged and quit on life, committing suicide. Others cry and cry and cry, then walk around as zombies, spaced out on drugs of various kinds, while others still drink themselves out of their reality, or so they think, until they become sober again. At the same time, many face their situations and defeat the enemies which come against them. They rise to the top. If they can do that, so can you.

And what about those who believe in God? Do they, likewise face trials and temptations? Yes, of course we do. Again, the difficulties of life are common to all men. But these seeming adverse challenges can be over-come if we gain the understanding of what to do and how to do what we need to do. Great battles can result in awesome victories and successes, if we get wisdom.

Life, in spite of its difficulties, is a great and grand thing and we have what it takes to make it in this world. Within us is a God-given ability to rise to the challenge and knock down the giants of lack, sickness, inefficiency, low self-esteem, low morale, hurts, pains, negative family relations, drugs etc. You have what it takes to rise above it all.

Don’t quit on life. Don’t drug yourself out of this world. Do not sit idly by, wishing for death, because you feel as though you cannot cope.

With God, you can make it. With Him you can use those same stumbling-blocks as your stepping-stones to a better you, to a better life. And even if, at the moment, you cannot see your way out of your situations and circumstances, realize that the Creator of the Universe knows the way out and will show it to you, I’m begging you believe.
STORMS RAGING
Believe what, you may ask? Believe that He is able to help you. Believe enough to call upon Him. Believe enough to take a step of faith, trusting that He has the power to turn things around for you. Believe that He loves you and wants to help you. Believe that He is a very present help, to everyone who calls upon Him. Believe.

It is going to be alright. Things are going to get better. If you seek the Lord Jesus for His wisdom and strength, He will prove Himself to you. Here Him as He says in His Word, the Bible:

Isaiah 41:10-“Fear thou not, for I am with thee; Be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.”

MY CLASSIC LOVE STORY

Finding loveCherished Love
By Herbert Mtowo

Boaz finding Ruth is one of my favorite love stories in the history of humanity. Though many would argue with me and say that finding love is like chasing the wind and an elusive dream and believe you me I am no expert to love and in love, but the few years I have lived on planet earth have been full of countless and precious and worthy lessons on a lot of topical issues to life. Talking about the love of a lifetime many schools of thoughts and theories have been spoken of written when it comes to stumbling on the love that we all cherish and long for. But allow me to approach it from another angle as I open my heart and pour it in black and white, how that life still is the master teacher when it comes to finding true love.

The foundational scripture that I’d like to begin with is 1 John 4:19, “We love God because He FIRST LOVED us.” Do you see the significance of those words? We didn’t chase after God. No, he chased after us. He lured us into a relationship with Him. Romans 3:11 tells us that no one seeks after God without him first seeking after them. It was God who waited at the well to talk with the woman who had already lived with seven men and the man she was with wasn’t even her husband. It was God who asked the questions and then provided the answers that would bring about her deliverance and change her life. That day as she made her way to the well, she wasn’t thinking about whether she would have an encounter with God today, no, she was going to get water. But God knew in advance that she would be there and he waited. Then he wooed her with his words.

To my precious Single women friends, how often is this scenario in reverse for you. You get all doled up and go to this or that event, hoping and praying that Mr. Right will find you? I remember growing up my sister at one time confided to me if she can get just a man to give her children she would be happy because she was getting tired by the day of waiting for love, many have died and lived disappointed but hold on for a while and listen to me as you read through this article. Do you ever leave feeling disappointed, especially if you go to a Christian singles’ event and there are 50 women for every one man. The odds really aren’t in your favor.

But I want you to make a shift in your consciousness today. I want you to see the development of a true love relationship, a godly love relationship in a whole new light. I want you to see a love relationship that mimics the relationship that God had with Israel, a prophet had with a prostitute, and Jesus has with the church.

Did you know that God’s relationship with the children of Israel in the Old Testament shows the love that a man is supposed to have for his mate? Are you aware that over and over and over and over in the Bible that God pursued the children of Israel only to be rejected again and again and again? Passage after passage throughout in the Old Testament is God pleading for the children of Israel to love and follow him because He wanted to bless them. Anyone who says God isn’t patient or merciful hasn’t read the Bible. He never gave up; he still hasn’t. These were his people and He loved them despite their bad behavior. All he ever wanted was for them to return and embrace his love.

In fact, he also used the story of Hosea to further depict his love and faithfulness to his people. God put an unconditional love in Hosea’s heart for a prostitute, Gomer and told him to marry her. In Hosea 3:1, God told Hosea, “Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites.” Hosea took Gomer to his home and gave her everything he had. He was crazy over her. But her old ways and life would lure her back into the streets and the arms of other men. Yet, that did not stop Hosea from finding his woman and bringing her back home. That’s how much he loved her.

Did you know that the relationship between Jesus and the church is our model for marriage? The Bible says that “we” are the bride of Christ. In Mark 2:20 Jesus refers to himself as the bridegroom. And because of his love for us, he stepped off his throne in heaven, lived on earth for about 30 years where he was ridiculed and rejected, and then died violently on a cross to restore our relationship back to God so that we could live eternally with Him. Revelations 19:7-9 and 21:1-2 tells about the last wedding that will take place. We are told that at the second coming of Christ, the official wedding ceremony will begin and the eternal union of Christ and his bride (us) will become a reality.

Well as I continued to prepare my writing of this article the Lord spoke to my spirit and said, that if a man is not as crazy and devoted to you as Christ is to the church and God was to the Children of Israel, he is not your bridegroom but a hireling, a fake. Wow! We loved God because HE first loved us. Ladies you are to love the man in our life because “he” first loved you, not because you manipulated, coerced, seduced, or even threatened him in marrying you. As women, you are to be receivers, not chasers. God created the man to choose, to pursue, and to love you and not the other way around. Ephesians 5:25 tells men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. But unfortunately, a role reversal has taken place and women have begun to aggressively chase after men and use any and all means to get them. Ladies, you may get a man, but he won’t be your bridegroom! When God does the choosing he will send him correct and He will put a love in his heart for you that will last longer than a flicker in the night.

I have personally known of men who waited for a woman for YEARS because they knew that woman was the one God had for them; they had eyes for no other. It didn’t matter how cute someone else was, their hearts were taken. Often times the women couldn’t see it. They just weren’t interested at all, but God began to do a work in their heart as well and these marriages are just as strong today as they were years ago.

I know I’m going to sound a bit out there now, but I’m going to say it anyway. Ladies, if the man in your life is not crazy about you, can’t stop thinking about you, doesn’t nurture and cherish you, doesn’t love buying you little things to see you smile, and if that man in your life wouldn’t die for you, he’s not your bridegroom. He is a fake and he’ll never love you like a true groom would. Now you can settle for him just to have somebody and not be alone, but just be clear what you’re doing. However, if you want God’s best, then wait for God to bring him to the well of your heart. Let him ask you for a drink of water but all along his true intentions are to water you with his love, to woo you, and to take you as his own.

Now married to women, your man may have started out thinking you were the cream in his coffee but because of the little foxes that were swept under the rug and not exposed and dealt with, a wall may have surfaced between you. It’s time to cleansing your relationship from everything that stands between you and your man and get those sparks flying again. So don’t despair, just start doing that mental and spiritual cleaning that is blocking the love between you from flowing freely. However, if you settled for a hireling, you may have to work harder to cultivate love and passion in your relationship, but with God all things are possible.

Now to all the men, I told you that you can glean from this article as well because if the woman in your life doesn’t make you a little “coo coo,” when you think about her then she probably isn’t the one either. I believe that when God presents that woman in your life you will eat, breath, dream, and sleep her. You won’t be able to get her out of your mind. It’s like thoughts about her will haunt you, in a good way of course. And yes, you would give her your all, up to the point of your own life. Your love for her will represent the love that Jesus has for the church and God for his people.

Therefore, single women if you are in a relationship and with a man, in which, you are always questioning whether he loves you, you don’t know his intentions, and you are carrying the bulk of relationship, run away, don’t walk. This man is “just not that into you.” Your bridegroom and your Boaz won’t have any problem showing you and telling you how he feels.

Lastly, be patient and as you learned in life`s lessons, learn to have a relationship with yourself and be fun, confident, and a joy to be around. Then one day when you least expect it, he’ll be right there waiting for you and you thought you were just going to buy some lettuce.

DEVINE CONNECTIONS IN YOUR LIFE !

Barack  and Michelle Obama

Barack and Michelle Obama

One night President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the president’s secret service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private.

They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner. Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle,

“Why was he so interested in talking to you.?”

She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her. President Obama then said,

“So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant?,”

Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”

*My people, believe it or not, sometimes its a woman that makes a man who he is…. for the men that are still searching for a wife, may God help you to find that help mate that will turn you from ” A Nobody” to “A Somebody”

For that single lady that is reading this, may you be that blessing no man can do without.

YOU NEED A BIG HEART TO FORGIVE!!!

Infidelity in marriages is a common issue. Surviving an affair is very hard on the couple as well as the entire family unit. It’s difficult to accept the fact that your husband cheated, but more and more women are deciding to forgive their husbands and move on. Why more women are deciding to forgive infidelity in marriages may come as a surprise to some. It takes great strength in character, plenty of patience and an open heart to forgive after being hurt so badly.

A very common reason women may forgive their husbands is because of their children. It can be very traumatic for children to see their parents break up. In order to save their children hardship, a decision to move on and leave the memory of infidelity behind is not uncommon. Therefore children are sometimes the catalyst which initiates the forgiving process and can lead you and your husband on the right track once again.

Another reason women are deciding to forgive infidelity in marriages is plain and simple. They still love their husbands despite the fact they have been hurt. If you find it hard to think of your life without your spouse, surely there are strong feelings there. The feeling of resentment or betrayal takes some time to diffuse, but then slowly, you come to realize the value of your relationship. Sometimes mistakes like these can make the relationship even stronger and bring a couple closer to each other. Discussing the matter and resolving the troubling issues will do wonders for your marriage.

Infidelity in marriages does not automatically reduce the affection and concern a couple feels for one another. Given the time and space, many women learn to forgive and start focusing on rebuilding their marriage. This is possible only if your husband realizes his mistake and is ready to make up for the damage he has caused to the relationship.

Forgiving your husband does not mean that you allow him to make the same mistake again. He should still be held accountable for his wrong doing and make amends for his behavior. Surviving the affair and forgiving allows you to bury the feelings of resentment and bitterness so that you can be as peace with the circumstances and move ahead.

If you are ready to forgive your husband’s infidelity, there are plenty of resources which can help the process of healing and gaining back the trust and intimacy. The choice should be made depending on how YOU feel and what circumstances YOU are in. If forgiveness is possible and required for surviving the affair then there is certainly no harm in giving your marriage another chance.

It is most important to remember, you should not make a decision in haste! Think about what you want and how you feel towards this relationship. There is no use staying in a relationship that does not give you any pleasure or companionship as it will only lead to more heartache and resentment. But if you truly love your husband and want to give it another try, there is hope in knowing many other couples have succeeded and are enjoying a loving marriage once again.

IS IT NOT ABOUT TIME ?-YOU FORGIVE !!

If you’re like a lot of people in today’s world, you have been deeply wounded or betrayed, abused or mistreated and to add insult to injury, it was most likely done at the hand of a loved one or trusted friend. The pain it has caused you will not go away and you are in an emotional prison as a result. It may be that over the course of time, justice has or will be served when or if those responsible are made to pay for the injustice or pain they inflicted on you. If not justice, perhaps, it may be that the consequences of their actions come back full circle to hurt them because of their actions. However, to believe that justice or retribution will bring the healing and peace of mind necessary to move on, is to be deceived and is a set-up for major disappointment.

And, what if justice is never served and those who failed you or inflicted such terrible pain, never pay for it in any way? What do you do then? Like it or not, the only way to true healing and restoration is through forgiveness. Surely, many will cringe at the very thought of forgiving the one responsible for so much pain in their lives. From a human or “rational” perspective, it makes no sense at all. Yet, there is no greater power to release us from the pain, inflicted by another, than to forgive the one who caused it.

Harboring unforgiveness is destructive and can lead to devastating results. It’s like a fire that smolders in the heart and smothers the soul. It is so insidious that one can be totally unaware of the damage it is doing, until it is too late. Unforgiving people live as victims and spend much of their time and energy justifying it. They are obsessed with the wrong done to them and quick to point out, to anyone who will listen, the lack of understanding people have regarding how much they have suffered or the agony they have endured. In truth, they are right. Most people cannot, nor will they ever, truly understand the suffering of another. Yet, what is the benefit of remaining in that misery and attempting to draw others into that misery along with them? Where is the healing in that?

Unforgiving people are quick to claim rights. They can be extremely sensitive to any wrongs done to them, regardless of how small or minuscule. They are obsessed with the bad things that happened to them in the past and are absolutely certain no one’s circumstances were as bad as theirs were. They take pleasure in the power their pain seems to give them over friends and enemies alike, as they require more and more pity and understanding. They are oblivious to the pain their unforgiveness inflicts on others not understanding or caring that dwelling on their pain only serves to make everyone else around them miserable. In short, unforgiving people are some of the most miserable people in the world.

All signs that could, if they were paying attention, alert them to the damage being done to their souls, as they choose to live out their unforgiveness. If unforgiveness is an issue for you, as it is for so many, what can be done about it? The first thing, is to recognize that God Himself has extended an offer of unconditional forgiveness to you, should you choose to receive it. You receive it by believing in His Son Jesus Christ and confessing that He is Lord and then asking for God’s forgiveness. The Bible says we are all sinners and in need of His forgiveness so that we may be reconciled to Him. Once you receive His forgiveness, the Bible tells us that you then receive the power of God, through His Holy Spirit now living in you, to do the things He asks you to do, like forgive others – no matter how awful the violation or abuse.

It does not mean you deny the wrongdoing or pain it caused or that you try to excuse it or justify it in any way. It would be disingenuous and demeaning not to recognize and acknowledge something terribly hurtful and inexcusable was done to you and that it never should have happened. To do so, would minimize the importance of forgiveness and its power to bring healing to a broken heart and a devastated soul. Forgiveness does not mean you forget. However, as the healing takes place, the memory of the incident will no longer trigger the raw emotions it once did. The memories instead will begin to fade and lose their hold. Instead of pushing all your buttons, the memory will be more about the time you forgave or the process of forgiveness you are committed to. Forgiveness is not just some positive feeling or altered emotion towards another. Forgiveness is an act of the will. We have the responsibility, and the authority as children of God, to offer to others the very forgiveness that God has given us. That is what Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:21-35, and be assured He would not tell us to do something we did not have the power to do through Him! Where does forgiveness begin, assuming the one need to forgive has been forgiven by God, is now in relationship with Him and has His power to offer it to another? This may come as a surprise, but the first step is to examine what happened to our heart following the wounding or offense. Did it result in deep-seated anger, bitterness or resentment? Did we speak unlovingly about them to others? Did we retaliate in some way? If so, we are just as guilty before God as our offender and we must confess that to Him. Regardless of what they originally did to us, we must confess our hatred, resentment or anger towards our offender. This does not in any way minimize or affirm their action. Its purpose is to allow our heart to be cleansed from our own sinful reaction to the offense, so that it is free to forgive and be healed.

Another powerful step to add in the forgiveness process is to bless your offender every time you think of what they did and they pain they caused you. I Peter 3:8-9 says; “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” When you bless others who have hurt or cursed you, God says, you will receive a blessing as a result.

Blessings promote healing, not only for you but also for those who have offended or hurt you. That is God’s ultimate desire, that all involved be healed, forgiven and restored. You can also write a letter – that you do not send – to the person who hurt you. Tell them everything they did that hurt you and how you feel as a result. If you are angry with them, tell them. Be very honest. Writing touches the emotional side of our brain and allows us to get in touch with what we are really feeling. It has been said that most Christians are stuck in their anger because they deny it exists. Get alone with God, once you’ve written everything you want to say and read it out loud to Him, making sure that no one else can hear you. After you have said (and yelled) everything you wanted to say (and yell), make a conscious choice to forgive, remembering that you can only truly forgive with God’s help and power. Then say, “In Jesus Name (because that’s where your power and authority comes from) I forgive you”. List the name(s of your offender) and what say specifically what you are forgiving them for. Follow that up with “I release you and I bless you.” When you bless them, try blessing them in every way you would like God to bless you. You will soon begin to notice that joy and blessings and love will start to flow in your heart and life again. Be sure and destroy the letter! While Restoration of a broken relationship is a worthy goal, there are circumstances and situations where it is not possible or realistic; like when the offender has died or is no longer mentally cognizant. Or when a person has been the victim of rape. Regardless of the crime or pain inflicted upon the victim, there will be no healing apart from forgiveness and there will be no forgiveness apart from the power of God to do so. God longs for you to be set free from the prison of unforgiveness and promises you the power to do it. Turn the key by asking Him and your prison doors could swing open today.

Let the transforming power of forgives flood your heart and you will never be the same. “And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on God’s. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.” – Corrie Ten Boom

What Defines Us is How Well We Rise After Falling

by AM Bishop

Pain, suffering and stress are the admission tickets to the game of life. But what would life be like without them? In a world without hurdles, there are no champions; without suffering, there are no saints; without battles, there are no victories; without rain, no rainbows. Isn’t a world that includes pain is more rewarding than one that doesn’t? Haven’t we all heard of the ‘Refiner’s fire”? Isn’t an intense heat necessary to produce gold, pressure and polishing necessary to produce diamonds and adversity necessary to produce character?Here’s how Henry Ford expressed the same sentiment: Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.

Each of us needs to recognize stress and difficulties for what they are: opportunities to lift ourselves to a higher level. Sailors caught in a storm should prayer not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. Why should they accept the storm? Because a smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.

When an eagle believes her eaglets are large enough to learn how to fly, she begins to take apart the nest and push the eaglets out. After this rude awakening, the eaglets discover they have wings! They can fly! The universe is constantly nudging us, pushing us off one cliff after another, in the hope that one day we, too, will discover our wings and soar to new heights.

All of us make will make mistakes that will bring our world to a halt but we need to face our fear and let the circumstance mold our character. We’ll be better because of it.