The Whirlwind Dream and a Rock to Stand Upon

[Image by Troy B Thompson]
Three days ago I had a whirlwind dream, took me to different places. I was taken back to my class in secondary school (high school), and once again I was serenaded by the familiar faces whom I knew before. There were also some brand new faces I'd never seen before. I was the repeater in their midst, the older one. I found myself plunged back into the basics of Mathematics and English, and I was enjoying it, and excelling in all my classes.

Three weird things happened. 

The first was that on the first day, I had no padlock for my locker. I looked around wondering how I could resolve this padlock situation. I considered leaving my locker open for the night while I sought to buy a new lock the next morning, but I changed my mind, not wanting anyone to steal my textbooks. So I asked around, "Does anyone have a spare lock? I'll give it back to you when I buy mine," I pleaded. A very rich girl offered me a big lock with a beautiful design carved on the metal, so beautiful that I wanted to have it as my own. But on reflecting further, I changed my mind. "If I use this one, I can assure you that someone would break into my locker, thinking there was something expensive therein to steal," I said. I refused the offer. Someone else gave me a simple lock and I thanked her profusely.

The second weird thing was that I had to live in a boarding house, just like old times. I had to wear an orange checked dress, the one everyone had to wear. I had to wear a certain type of sandals too, just like everyone else. I also had to have a pail or bucket so I could fetch water to bathe with every morning. It was a nostalgic feeling, as I'd done all these things before.

The third event was the silliest thing ever. I had to chase a monkey. Okay, let me explain. I wanted to get my sister from her class, but she couldn't come out because she said there was a monkey in her class. Anyhow, I took a peek and saw the monkey, it saw me too and started chasing me. I ran far enough until it caught me, and all of a sudden I turned around and started chasing the monkey. I was able to catch it and removed the 'chasing spirit' from that monkey. I think this was the most hilarious part of the dream.

* * *

In the dream, after these three events occurred, a Boris Kodjoe look-alike came to explain the dream to me. Seriously, he looked like Boris Kodjoe...same shaved head too.

He said that if I have a steady rock upon which I'm always standing on, although all sorts of things may happen around that rock, like kicking my toe against the rock, I will always remain standing. In the dream, I had to go back to the basics even as an adult, I had to learn Mathematics and English all over again, and I had to live like a child in a boarding school. But the thing is I always had a rock to stand upon, the Rock of ages- God Himself.

What Does This Mean To You, the Reader?

I shared this dream with you just to let you know that life can take you places. Sometimes, you'll find yourself climbing a stepping stone, and at other times, you might find yourself being plunged back to the basics to learn something afresh. As far as you're standing upon the rock of ages, God, who remains unsifted even while you're being sifted from one place to another, you will have nothing to worry about. You can kick your toe against the rock of ages for all you want, and sometimes you may stumble, but as far as you're holding on to the One who NEVER changes, it shall be well in your world.

Scripture(s) for the Day: "And the Lord said, "Behold [there is] a place by Me, and thou shalt stand [be fixed, be stationed, be established, be upright, be erected] upon a rock. And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock." Exodus 33:21-22, KJV.

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock, and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; but it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." Matthew 7:23-24, KJV. 

When Your Seed is Enough

[Image by Enrico Policardo]
My lips parted open as I sat in the pews. Could it be that the preacher had been stalking me for many years? In just one Sunday morning, every little scripture quoted, and every little anecdote added, seemed to point invisible fingers towards where I sat, satisfied to be behind a few heads so that I could cover my surprised face and leave my lips ajar.

Right then, I made a decision. I would walk to the altar, even at the cost of receiving glances from the other people of the congregation, whose eyes were like arrows in pure daylight, watching closely to see if I would trip on my way to the altar, or how I would kneel down, or how much I would put down as my seed. But I wanted to lay a seed on the altar- a seed which would serve as a thanksgiving to God for bringing such a magnificent revelation to me on this day, a revelation that would keep me firmly planted in good soil for the rest of my life. I wanted the seed to bless the preacher in some way, and hopefully to grow exponentially into unfathomable fruits.

And so, I dipped my hand into my hand-bag, grabbed my brown bulky wallet as fast as I could. Excitement filled my spirit. The hairs on my arms began to form fine goosebumps, even as I scrambled for something worthy to serve as a seed. I could not wait to run down to the altar to drop my seed. But just then, my right hand fell unto my lap and I looked at it. Right there, clasped around my fingers, was a one-dollar note. No. I didn't want to give a dollar. I dipped my hand into my wallet for the second time in a few minutes, but I found nothing else. I stared at the dollar note, and it looked back at me. It was all I could muster, my fine one dollar. How small a seed. How far would it go? What kind of fruits could a dollar note produce? Was it even worth it?

* * * * * 

Do you know the true meaning of this verse?

"He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." 2 Corinthians 9:6-10. 

A few days ago, I studied the use of the words 'SPARINGLY' and 'BOUNTIFULLY' in the original context of this scripture.

#1 Sparingly (Greek Word, 'Pheidomenos')---> from the verb Pheidomai which means to spare, forbear, or refrain (explanation: to refrain from doing something that is in your capacity to do. To withhold a portion of something on purpose, when you can give or do so much more that would be more befitting).

#2 Bountifully (Greek Word, 'Eulogia')---> to be a blessing or to speak praise.

What does this really mean?

You see, it's really not about the one dollar note. It never has been. It is all about your heart and whether or not you're willing to be a blessing to someone or a group of people (Eulogia). If you're giving everything you can give, and it is still small, God will reward you bountifully. He sees your heart and He's the One who gives seed to the sower (verse 10).

One important fact that many of us have missed out on is that it is not really about the money, but about whether your heart is a generous heart. Money is not the only way to sow a seed. Seeds come in different shapes and sizes- in kindness, in love, in presence, in peace, in joy, in laughter, in priceless gifts which cannot be counted.

So if your heart is generous enough, I want you to know today that Your seed is enough.

Question for the Day: "Have you ever felt like you're withholding something back from God when you don't have that much money in your bank account?" God sees your heart, and He will supply seed for you to sow, seeds which come in different shapes and sizes. Oh, and don't forget He is Jehovah Jireh (Provider) and the condition of not having money to give all the time is only a temporary one. Have a blessed week, guys :)

The Washing of Water With the Word

[Image by Tbsteve]
"You're a fish."

A good friend told me in the Fall of 2007 when she opened my room door and caught me in the act. On a day when young men walked about, scouting the campus grounds, and pretty college girls reciprocated, cat-walking along dimly lit dormitory corridors and moonlit courtyards, I was caught grabbing my bath towel and dashing to my bathroom.

I smiled back at my friend, and then I told her I wasn't what she thought I was. On that sticky day, I only needed to feel that second downpour of pure cooling water drenching me from the top of my hair strands to the bottom of my small toes, making the heat subside and silently refreshing my bones. I was hot and the shower was needed to solve all my problems, even though it was the second time that day. I was not a fish. I did not have double showers every day, just on really hot days.

* * * * *

It is indeed universal knowledge that water does some very nice things. It cleanses the body, refreshes, cools, warms, and quenches our ever-growing thirst.

But this particular scripture always blows my mind when I read it.

 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5: 25-27. 

5 Things I realized:

#1: There's something that cleanses better than water. It is the word of God. Baptismal water is an outward show of being renewed, but without an accompaniment of the Word of God, it is nothing. Water cannot remove visible spots or wrinkles, but the Word of God goes beyond removing such things as the world deems as permanent scars.

#2: Love is the declaration of the word, and it sanctifies and cleanses, more than water.

#3: The word 'washing' is the Greek word 'Loothos' which means 'a bath or baptism.' The 'Word' is the Greek word 'Rhmati' (Rhema), which means 'Utterance/Declaration.' In essence, this scripture is indicating that we need to be baptized in the word of God, just like the baptism of water. The word (an utterance or declaration) is the highest purifier. It is the affirmation that denounces any contradictions. It says "you can do it" when everyone says "you can't do it."

#4: Our words are very powerful. If a man presents his wife before his peers, and sings only good songs about her, leaving her weaknesses behind, then only her light will shine. His peers will take his word for it.

#5: Calling those things that be not as though they are is like washing of water by the word. The water aims for the cleansing of physical things, but the word of God is a deeper baptism into which we are not ruled by events that present themselves as facts.

Encouragement for the Day: Water can cleanse your physical body, but only the Word of God can cleanse your heart. Sanctify yourselves with His word, and you won't go wrong. 

Sincere Love Goes Beyond the Ordinary | A Handwritten Post

[Image by RedAndre]

2 Corinthians 6, "We commend ourselves as ministers of sincere love."
 Philippians 1:9, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." 

This post has 8 of my personal musings on 'sincere love.' It is inspired by Michael Perkins' handwritten posts. Enjoy my handwriting.

Question(s) for the Day: What other point(s) can you add about 'sincere love'? Can you differentiate fake love from sincere love? I hope you have a beautiful weekend, readers. Would love to read your thoughts. See you on Monday.