My One-Eyed Mother

My One-Eyed Mother

My mother only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

There was this one day during elementary school where my mum came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed.

How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mum only has one eye!”

I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mum to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?”

My mum did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.

Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!”

And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” –and she disappeared out of sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.

My neighbours said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

My dearest son,

I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children.

I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

You see… when you were very little, you got into an accident and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine.

I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.

With all my love to you,

Your mother

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ – Matthew 15:4

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Tipping Over

Tipping Over

Tipping Over

The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit. He quoted 1 Samuel 16:7 “’The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different,” he explained.

Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilt out. “When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference was within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed. Until we are upset we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45)”

What if someone tipped you over today? What would flow out? Would you reveal the “honey” of grace and patience, or the “vinegar” of anger and sarcasm?

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8)

Have a terrific day knowing that the one who upsets you may just be looking for some honey.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. – Ephesians 4:29

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Lord, Thank You

Lord, Thank You

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; it has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today. It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing, the lawn that needs raking; we all enjoy the yard.

Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. – Habakkuk 3:17-18

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Opportunities for Kindness

Opportunities for Kindness

Several years ago I was at a train station in Amsterdam waiting in line to buy a ticket. As I stood there I saw a young homeless man asking people for money so he could buy breakfast. It was early in the morning and most of the travellers simply ignored the young man or gave him a dirty look.

There was one exception though – an older, well-dressed businessman who looked as though he was from the middle-east. When approached by the panhandler, the gentleman looked straight into his eyes and quietly asked: “How much will you need?”

I couldn’t hear what the young man said but watched as the older man pulled several bills from his wallet and calmly placed them in the young man’s hands.

I don’t know if the young man actually used this money for breakfast or for some other purpose. What I do know is that I witnessed two completely different reactions to the same situation. I saw people who were either afraid or annoyed or distrustful. And then I saw this man who was not afraid and treated the homeless man as though he were a brother. I decided then and there that, even though we have to be careful in this world, I would rather be like him.

May this day bring us many opportunities for kindness.

by Ron Atchison

Meditation: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering – Colossians 3:12 (KJV)

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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One Good Reason to Hang on (2)

One Good Reason to Hang on (2)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
– Romans 8:28

While under pressure, one other reason to hang on and not adopt a capitulatory attitude is because of the fact that God makes all things to work together for the good of His children – and yes, it is ALL THINGS He contrives to turn out for good, not some of them. So, rather than get bogged down with the weight of your circumstance, you should rather focus on the goodness of God in the past, then look out for the inherent good in the present situation, and the likely good that will come out of it.

By nature, God is benevolent; He is always seeking ways to bless; He is not all out to judge and to exact. He is a God of justice, yes; but He is more inclined to show compassion first before meting out judgement. Even in the midst of punishment, He is always looking out for a repentant heart, so He could have a ground to stop. His mercy prevails over judgement (James 2:13). In the word of the Psalmist, ‘He is good, and everything He does is good’ (Psalm 119:68).

Meditating on this nature of God should give you an assurance that He’s got your back. He is watching out for you. Even in the thick of your challenges when all you could see are woes and nothing else, He has not abandoned you and He is not going to do that anyway. The fact that you don’t see Him doesn’t mean that He is not with you; and His silence does not mean that He is not hearing your prayers either. But you need to ensure you are really praying, not whining and throwing tantrums. He is up to something; and it is something good. He is about to turn your test to a testimony and your tears to cheer.

Now, that’s a good reason for you to keep hanging on.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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One Good Reason to Hang on (1)

One Good Reason to Hang on (1)

I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.
– Jeremiah 29:11 (New Century Version)

The pressures of life can be overwhelming at times that you wonder if you will ever get out of this, or will it ever end. You might even have considered calling it quit on life altogether so as to be relieved of all the stress. It can be that bad; but it does not have to get to that point.

Perhaps the vicissitudes of life have boxed you into such a state that you are discouraged from doing anything or taking any further step for fear of aggravating an already bad situation or being misinterpreted. It can be that tough; but you don’t have to let it get the better of you. You cannot afford to stop praying and trying, taking guided steps and making calculated attempts.

Whatever your own issue may be at the moment, be it finance, marriage, family, business, career, health, or other forms of social pressure, it is always good to adopt a long term perspective and see yourself vis-à-vis the challenge in a couple of years time; will it become bigger than you or you would have outgrown it? You can also borrow a leaf from Robert Schuller’s classic that “tough times don’t last; only tough people do.”

Another perspective that can help you to cope with the storms of life is the fact that challenges are part of living; they are not peculiar to you alone. The fact that you are in the midst of storm does not mean that God does not reckon with you or that He loves you lesser than someone who seems to be enjoying all the fortunes of life. God cares for all His children, even the recalcitrant ones. He is a loving Father. He does not scheme and He is not driven by the thoughts of how He might undo you. He says that the thoughts (note the plural) He has toward you are for peace, not evil; to give you a hope and a future.’ Amplified Bible says His plan is “to give you hope in your final outcome.”

This is God Himself assuring you that of all the thoughts He thinks about you, none is to hurt, undo or afflict you. On the contrary, even with your present issues in mind, His thoughts are to give you hope in your final outcome. Now that is one good reason for you to hang on.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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