Dead Things, Not Dead People:

Khulekani's room smelled of sweet Caribbean salsa. Her mother had once given her a clay pot filled with African spices, but she preferred the Caribbean reminded her of the time she spent in St. Lucia, and the smell of the beach and other aromatic spices. Her room was lovely. It had three dainty photographs hung up on the wall in a diagonal manner. On the right, she had her own little sanctuary: a lime green sofa in front of a little TV, and a small side-table with a lime colored vase filled with tall green and white sweet alysum plants, shipped from Southern Europe. On the left was her luxurious bed with the canopy drapes in front of them, British style.

There seemed to be a clear sense of normalcy and serenity, that everything was alright and blossomy. But there was something wrong. It was not alright outside the window. In that very moment of time, if you decided to stand in front of her window, you would see Khulekani standing right there, outside in the rain without a raincoat. And you would notice that she was trying to defy time, to stop the clock's hands from turning. Any time soon, the thrash collectors would come with their big old ugly truck, to carry away the left-overs of the entire neighborhood. So there she was, stalling for time. There she was, unloading everything she had thrashed last night...looking for her precious diary. She must have thrown it out by mistake. No, not her secret diary, the story of her life! Her world was different from the one in the diary, and she did not want her true self to die. She needed to find it. She didn't want that part of her to die with the truck that was coming soon.

But she never really found it...although she knew it was no longer in her room.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Three days ago I read about the man who wanted to follow Jesus. The problem was that he really wanted to go back and bury his father who had died, you know, pay him his last respect. And I saw nothing wrong in that, and truly there is nothing wrong with wanting to do that, if you think about it. But the next statement which came from Jesus was very shocking, "Let the dead bury their own dead, you follow me."
Now, I understand why He said what He said. He said that so we could get a lesson or two from that picture. It's not that we should not physically bury our dead (because it is important that we do), but that we should leave those things which have died alone. There are some things that die, even when we are trying to revive them. There are some destinies, visions, and thoughts that die...even when we are putting all our hopes in them. Today, I want you to know that because a part of you is dead does not mean that the whole of you is dead. Because something you really wanted is no longer possible does not mean your future is bleak. Dead things are not equal to dead people. You don't need to die just because something precious is dead.

That being said, I pronounce "life" upon you today. You woke up this morning, didn't you? So, I praise God for your life right now. I praise Him for your destiny. If God allowed something to die, it means He wants something else to live in you. He has the power to resurrect what has died, doesn't He? So just let the dead go and follow God. If He wants to resurrect those things that have died, it would only be in the blink of an eye. Remember the story of Lazarus who died and Jesus resurrected after three days? So, live large and live big with what you have right now. Oh, and don't forget to praise & worship your Maker while you're at it. Lol.
I have come that [you] may have life, and that [you] may have it more abundantly (John 10:10)

Photo copyright: Lost in Dreams by Gittiart (redbubble)

Why I Do the Things I Do:

Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus. -Susan Longacre.

In my lifetime, there has always been a silver lining at the end of every cloud which has ventured to glide through my way. It wasn't that I was always searching for God, but He was searching for me. Somehow, in my twenty four years of existence, I have been moved countless number of times, by a mighty invisible hand. I have not been able to comprehend with a human compass what the direction of the wind is, but the thing is that I have been moving in the direction of its unfamiliar torrents, like a flimsy piece of paper that gets carried away in a forceful September wind.

The Silver Linings:

If you stretch your almost 20/20 vision, you will see it. You will see that a cloud is not really black, but only just an imagination of blackness, dullness, and a lack of excitement. But if you dare to study the mysterious contours of the formation of a cloud, you may find it to be rather exciting. I can describe it as 'the multiple convolutions of tiny molecules of water which are creating sweet harmonious rhythm from the chemical process of evaporation.' In my own mind, I have just formed a rhythmic melody for clouds which were deemed uninteresting in a previous era. In the same fashion, I do what I do (glorifying God with my pen) because I have dared to see my life as a convolution of miracles, rather than a boring cycle of 'almost-achievements.'

So instead, these days when I go outside in the morning, I do not see dead trees, dead forests, or dead people, but rather I see that these living elements remain the way they are ("alive") because they have a Master Craftsman who silently preserves them in their own beauty. So I praise God!
And instead, when it takes a darn long time for me to assume a position higher than where I am today, I see that a million days in my eyes are just like one day in the eyes of my Father. So I wait on God, and I praise Him again!

Still instead, when I fail...especially with two points from the cut-off mark (which I have so skillfully done in my past), I cry...but only for a while. Because after a while, I begin to understand that God has the master plan of my life. I begin to remember that I once prayed that God should 'order my steps according to His word.' And so I rise up again, because now I know that all that happens to me only makes me a person with a STRONGER character. I rise up again because I can either choose to pretend like I don't have the strength, or I can utilize the strength that has already been given to me by my Father...and so I choose the latter.
Instead, when I am burning up and feeling the heat from life, I get exhausted. But only for a little while. For I realize now that to be a light in the midst of darkness, one has to be lit up with fire, but after a while the power of the light overcomes the burning sensation of the heat, and all is well again. Or else what would be the testimony of the light without a test of its strength?
So today, I want you to understand the reasons why you do what you do. I want you to understand that your entire life exists for a deeper reason, and that it is one big testimony, a story that must be told to Nations someday. If you are strong enough to get back up again, it only tells me that you are also a light. And a light that is meant for a city will never be hidden.

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

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Trading Places: Would You Dare?


It is my decision. So I go inside. The inside of the building smells of a mixture of urine and other chemicals. The song playing in the background is from the 50s. I bob my head up and down, trying to remember the melody. But I don't remember. I shrug my shoulders like I don't care whether I remember or not, and start to find my way to the center of the crowd. After all, I was not born in the 50s.

On my way to the center, I notice a few things. I see two young guys with eccentric hairstyles from the 60s. The first guy is much darker in skin color than the second, but they are rocking the same type of fro' anyhow. The height of the fro' on the second guy's head is higher though, say as tall as the empire state building, only in centimeters. I nod to them and they nod back at me. Maybe I am welcome in this place.
As I go along, I notice a young woman sitting on the floor. She seems to be playing a musical instrument, maybe a flute. As I look a little bit closer, I realize that I am wrong. She is not playing a flute. She is smoking something from a personalized carved Korean pipe made of bamboo and metal. No one is disturbing her. The rest of the people are ignoring whatever it is she is smoking and they are minding their own business. So I do the same, I mind my own business. But I start to feel a little bit weird, like what in the world am I doing here?

I move even further to the center, where the major activity is. To my utter regret, I find lots of people at the center, heaped over each other like a sand cake. They seem to be laughing and shouting and enjoying themselves, I do not understand what for. The person at the bottom of the heap seems to be crying loudly for help though. Suddenly, I realize that this is not my place. I realize that I am not where I am supposed to be. So I turn around and change my mind. I begin to find my way out of this place. I make another decision. Yes, it was my decision to come here in the first place, but I know I also have the golden opportunity to trade places.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Many times we find out that we are not where we are supposed to be. All of a sudden, you wake up in the morning and go through the motions...again! You do what you're supposed to do without any feelings, without any passion.

But today, I'd like to announce something: you can definitely choose to trade places! If it seems like you are not in the center of God's will for your life, why don't you just get up and BE at the center? Oh, of course it is easier said than done. But the thing is that, it is possible. You can choose to be at the center of His will. You can 'choose' to begin to do what He has called you to do. It's only a matter of choice. But in the moment when you make this decision, there's something I know that can be your helpful guide: the Word of God (as written in the Bible). It has helped me before, and is still helping me as I write today. Let this word be a lamp unto your feet...and guide you in the right direction.

"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

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PS: I hope this post has made you think deeply about where you are now and where you really want to be. Other news: Guess what's hot in blogsville guys? The Blogger awards are going on right now and The Light Her Lamp blog has the opportunity to be a first time nominee for some categories...go ahead and check out the awards, and make sure you vote too :) Be blessed!!!

I Don't Know Why I Remember...

So this story is about me.

I was maybe about ten years old, living in a not-too-significant part of a popular urban city. That day was just like any other day. The weather was like the day before, nothing was different. We didn’t have any water supply or electricity again, so I willingly volunteered to get some water from the big house opposite mine.

I went into the bathroom to collect a plastic bucket, and then I made my way outside the gate of my apartment complex towards the huge house on the opposite side of the street. Of course, I heard my father’s voice in the background telling me that I needed to look left and right multiple times before I crossed the road, and I did. Suddenly, I was on the other side of the street. But I was not getting a bucket of water. I was in a place where I did not want to be. I had fallen inside a dirty gutter. The gutter was dirty because it was filled halfway with stagnant water, green molds, spits, the remains of water used to wash dirty clothes, and possibly eggs that had been laid by malaria-spreading mosquitoes. It took two men to lift me out. My task was never completed. Instead, I ran back into the gate of my apartment complex. I could not go into my house because of the stench. I had to take off my clothes outside the house and throw them away, and I had to request that my sister bring me a change of clothes. I don’t know why I remember this day. I have had some other bad days, but this one most likely supercedes the rest.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Yes, it certainly happened to (just in case you're wondering). It is amazing how much we can trace back to events and memoirs of our lives. Some of you can probably remember the day your first tooth fell off, and how you ran around your house seven times and threw it on top of the roof, so that it would wait for the kind tooth fairy to pick it up and grant your wish. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that never happened :)

Today, after this writing exercise whose prompt I picked up from a book called, "The Making of a Story," by Alice LaPlante, I thought about how much we remember of God. How much do we remember of the One who created us? They say life dishes out goodies to those who live on earth, but it really isn't true. It is God who wields the earth into orbit and plans what would happen on a daily basis. He's the One who allows certain things, good and evil, to happen because He has already seen the end from the beginning. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

So, maybe you're going about your daily activities and muttering to yourself, "same ole day,' same ole day," or maybe you are on your way to the gym or the grocery store...again! Or you could be on your way to the movie theatre or a romantic get-away...or maybe even the beach in an ever sunny city like Florida. But my mission today is to give you a soft nudge on your side and ask you not to forget God. Don't forget how He saved you from yourself the other day, or how He has kept you up till this very second. Don't forget how He lifted you our of the miry clay and even out of the fowler's net. Don't forget...because God has not forgotten you. The truth is, He will never ever forget matter how far you stray away.

"Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number." Jeremiah 2:32

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